Friday, December 14, 2012

Movie Review: Red Dawn

Title: Red Dawn
Running time: 114
Release date: November 21, 2012
Rated: PG-13
Summary taken from imdb:
A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.


If you've been on my blog long enough, you'd know about my absolute love of Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden, both the book and the movie. When the movie first came out, many people compared it to being the Australian version of Red Dawn (1984). Ever since I heard about the movie, I had been meaning to watch it, but I never had the chance to since it's pretty old and not on Netflix.

Then I found out that they were doing a remake of Red Dawn, and it was like fate. I had high expectations for it ever since I saw the trailer, and I was not disappointed. It had everything that I love: a great plot, awesome characters, amazing action scenes, and an unforgettable ending.

It's a pretty simple plot: enemy country takes over the U.S., and a group of teens try to defend their town using guerrilla warfare. But the action and characters and side-stories flesh it out and make it amazing.

Before I get into that, I have to get this off my chest first: I found it unbelievable that North Korea could have been able to take over the U.S., because it's so tiny in both size and amount of weaponry. I heard that the enemy was originally supposed to be the Chinese, but they changed it at the last second using CGI. I dunno if it's true or not, but China would have been infinitely easier to believe capable of doing such a thing.

Let's talk about how awesome the characters are. Besides Jed, the rest of the group are just a bunch of high schoolers, and when they realize that they're town's being taken over, they're scared and confused and they just want to rescue their family. And like the rest of the world, they realize that the only way to get their town back, they have to fight back, and it's nothing like they've ever been prepared for, training how to fight, how to use guns, how to survive while the North Koreans have total control of the town, while also dealing with loss and betrayal. And they all have their own flaws, and watching Jed and Matt's rocky sibling relationship grow is one of the best parts of the movie.

And you can't forget the amazing cast who brought the characters to life. There's Chris Helmsworth playing the tough and charismatic Jed, Josh Peck playing Jed's younger--stubborn--brother, Matt, and Josh Hutcherson playing Robert, a sweet kid who still maintains a sense of innocence and justice after everything that they've been through. There's also Adrianne Palicki playing the sensible but infatuated Toni, and Isabel Lucas playing as Erica, Matt's girlfriend.

The action was great. There were parts near the first half of the movie that was too sped up, but it made sense since it was just the group learning how to fight; there's not enough time in a movie to show every detail of their training. But when it came to fighting the soldiers and retaliation and the ending fight, the camera was pretty much spot-on in capturing the hurried, chaotic atmosphere of fighting.

And that ending. I knew that it was going to happen--you don't have war movies without people dying--but this movie had so many deaths that I felt so much sadness as the group kept on losing members. But that last scene, with Matt, was great. It was the perfect ending for a time when resistance is still alive and powerful.

I definitely recommend this movie. And if you have Netflix, I definitely recommend that you watch Tomorrow, When the War Began too. Both are so awesome and moving and even though they have similar plots, you won't get tired of watching either of them.

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