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Red Dawn / Rated PG-13 for violence and language

America has been invaded. That is the premise of Red Dawn. Although we hear about the invasion, all we see of it takes place in and around Spokane, Washington (actually filmed in Michigan). Seems the North Koreans, abetted by the Russians, have found a way to mess up US communications and sneak in millions of soldiers to take over the Pacific Northwest brew pub industry. Apparently their homemade North Korean brew really sucks. They blow up a lot of stuff and parachute into the streets.

The only defenders left are a group of high school kids and Chris Hemsworth (currently playing Thor in Thor and The Avengers), a Marine home on leave. They make it to a hideout in the mountains and fight back. Not much plot follows, but there are lots of really big explosions and gunfights galore for about an hour and a half before the indefinite ending. The kids become famous with the nickname Wolverines based on the high school mascot.

This film is a remake of Red Dawn (1984) which was written and directed by John Milius. Then the invaders were Cubans, a few Nicaraguans and the Russians. This was changed to the North Koreans, as the idea of a Cuban army is not believable anymore. We would have more to fear from marauding Care Bears than a Cuban army. The screenplay and story for the 2012 version is based on the Milius screenplay. With a few changes, it is almost identical. The original film featured the late Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey and the film premier of then very young Charlie Sheen.


The new version offers nothing new other than bigger and louder explosions, more gunshots and an even greater numbers of violent acts than were in the original. The first Red Dawn made the Guinness Book of World Records as the movie having the greatest number of violent acts of any film to date. It came in at 134 per hour or 2.23 for every minute of film time. Quite a distinction.

Unless you were a fan of the first version and want to make a comparison, there is not much reason to see the new Red Dawn. If you missed it but want to see what the story is about, see either version but not both. If you choose the new one take a hand counter and keep track of the violent acts you see. Let me know how it compares to the 1984 version.

Rated 2.23 out of 4.0 violent acts per minute.


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