“Red Dawn” is the 1984 classic that captured the heart and soul of a generation. With stars like Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Linda Grey, and Lea Thompson, the film played on the nuclear wars fears and patriotic verve of a country.
The story has the Soviets and her Cuban allies invading the United States. As paratroopers descend and begin firing on civilians in the tiny town of Calumet Colorado, high school students flee into the neighboring mountains. The kids stop and stock up on weapons and ammunition before making their escape. They decide to stage raids and fight back. Their courage is rewarded with reprisals against their fellow townspeople and sometimes against their families.
Soon help arrives in the form of downed Air Force pilot, Lt-Col. Tanner. He tells the band of resistance fighters that half of the country has been occupied by the enemy but the other half is standing strong. His experience helps the group stage more effective raids and soon the Russian military focuses on putting an end to the “Wolverines”, the name the teenaged militia adopted from their school mascot.
The movie has plenty of action and violence, for its time, leading it to be the first film rated PG-13. The courage and sacrifice made by the teenagers in the face of personal loss stirred emotions in viewers. It was also the first pairing of Swayze and Grey. The two would work together again in the classic Dirty Dancing film that cemented Swayze’s career and catapulted Grey’s.
The 2010 remake of “Red Dawn” follows the same plot and has all the principal characters in play. The major difference seems to be in who is doing the invading. This time the Chinese and the Russians are the ones on the offensive. The switch has drawn criticism from China according to a report on the Daily Finance website.
The new cast includes names like Chris Emsworth who appeared as George Kirk in the recent “Star Trek” film, television star Adrianne Palicki recently seen in the film “Legion” and Josh Hutcherson was starred in such films as “Zathura: A Space Adventure”, “Bridge to Terebithia” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.”
While this version of “Red Dawn” will no doubt be interesting, it won’t stir a generation in the same way. Certainly today’s special effects will add an element to the film and the actors seem capable enough, but do we need another remake though? Whatever happened to nostalgia? Some movies stand the test of time. I think Red Dawn is one of them and should have been left alone.
According to the MGM website and the AMC Theaterswebsite, the movie is scheduled for release November 24, 2010.
Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia, MGM, AMC Theaters, Daily Finance