The plot is completely ridiculous, not to mention horrendously cheesy, but the action is reasonably good. ‘Red Dawn’ sees the improbable invasion of the American mainland, focusing specifically here on Spokane in Washington (second largest city in the state after Seattle) by the North Korean military in a covert D-Day esque landing, that seems to involve parachuting in one CGI soldier for every few square metres of American soil. The logistics of this exercise are not deemed particularly relevant. What is though, is how Chris Hemsworth and his band of youths are going to arm themselves and take back the homeland from the enemy guerrilla style, calling themselves ‘The Wolverines’ and hoping to inspire others in the process.
The film is a remake of the 1984 version, and during production the original Chinese protagonists were digitally altered to become North Korean after news of the film’s plot didn’t go down too well in The People’s Republic. Angering militant North Korea, where the producers don’t stand to make money from the native box office anyway, doesn’t seem to matter. Why didn’t they just make it a fictional country? It’s not like any effort was made on a realistic plot anyway. After the first third it gets much better with some surprisingly enjoyable action, though unfortunately the one-liners do not similarly improve but are at least delivered with gusto.
(The politically astute amongst you may have noticed that North Korea threatened nuclear war within a couple of weeks of this film’s release. Coincidence? Or is the relatively young Kim Jong-un a massive, and easily offended, film buff? Although, really, all film buffs should be offended by this film, not just those in North Korea)