Unfortunate revival of 'Red Dawn'

By Gracie McKay

Staff Writer|

All the students at Prospect High School can agree that nothing is more awful than those emails from the deans stating the rules about school dances, which are followed by the students’ parents asking the unanswerable “What in the world is ‘Jersey Turnpiking’?!”

However, the remake of the 1984 movie “Red Dawn” certainly comes in a close second.

The movie that was released on Nov. 21 is about a bunch of American teenagers fighting the invasion of North Korea in their town, Spokane.  The teens name their ragtag army-resistance group the Wolverines, after their high school mascot.

 The teens train to attack the invaders.  Robert (Josh Hutcherson), one of the fighting teenagers, attempted to shoot a gun, but missed and sliced the air with bullets.  Throughout the movie, he charms viewers with his believable acting skills and gorgeous face.

One of the characters, the rugged and hunky Marine Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) was the leader of the group and the older brother of Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) .

Sadly, at times when the luscious Hemsworth spoke, his native Australian accent overpowered his American accent for the movie, and it sounded as though one of his previous movie roles, Thor, had traveled from Asgard and returned to Earth to become a Marine.

Unfortunately, Hutcherson’s and Hemsworth’s good looks couldn’t spare the audience from the horror of bad acting done by their castmates.

Peck amazed viewers with his lack of acting skills.  We all know him as the hilarious chubby boy from “Drake and Josh,”  but when his character in “Red Dawn,” Matt, tried to display his feelings or take on the macho-army fighting dude role, the emotion in the dialogue wasn’t properly delivered to cause genuine reactions from the audience because the acting wasn’t believable.

Another reason might have been that whenever Peck attempted to shoot a gun, that fat kid from Drake and Josh kept popping up into the public’s mind, creating laughter instead of awe in the so-called intense moment.

Peck wasn’t the only actor frustrating the viewers.  Sergeant Hodges (Matt Gerald) tried to be the rough-and-tough Marine who was one of the men to help the Wolverines.

His portrayal was overpowering, unoriginal and after a lot of repetitive Marine slang from him, he became downright annoying. Not only did some of the acting kill the movie, the music featured in “Red Dawn” knifed it, too.

Composed by Ramin Djawadi, the music sounded like every other action film’s soundtrack.  Quiet at first, the sounds gathered speed and then BAM!  The big turning point in the song occurred.  The only song that was somewhat enjoyable was the very last song because it meant the end of the movie.

All the songs were expected; the scary and intense songs played when something dreadful was about to happen, or the sentimental tunes with the classical instruments played when a scene was supposed to be perceived as touching.  (Thanks to Josh Peck, he shot those would-be compassionate moments down faster than a stereotypical American redneck guzzling a beer).

Granted, there were a few parts in the movie that were surprising and exciting that caused gasps in the theaters, but for the most part, the movie was predictable because the events prior to a “big surprise” gave away clues too easily, destroying the suspense.  “Red Dawn” was put into the action category of movies, but it shouldn’t have been.

“Red Dawn” was such a joke that it could have been put into the comedy genre.

 This movie was the first full movie that director, Dan Bradley, conducted.  He was the second unit director, a director who choreographs action sequences, of movies that included “The Bourne Legacy”, “Spider-Man 2,” and the “Dukes of Hazzard.”  While those movies received high acclaim with its cast and writing, Dan Bradley’s movie “Red Dawn” has a generally lackluster group of actors and a weak script.

At one point in the movie, the Wolverines asked the Marines who came for help if they should just give up fighting.

“It ain’t over yet,” Hodges, played by Gerald, said.

Oh, but most of the people who watched “Red Dawn,” scratching at their eyeballs in hopes of ending their misery, sure wished the movie was done.