As the original suggests, no second-rate military power can match these scrappy teens. But in the new “Red Dawn,” the Wolverines pull off some urban assaults that make absolutely no strategic or storytelling sense. As for the Wolverines themselves, Hemsworth, Peck, Hutcherson and Palicki are serviceable, Isabel Lucas as Toni's sister Erica barely registers, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan shows up too late to make much impact as a renegade former U.S. Marine looking to sign up with the gang.
This new “Red Dawn” sat around for a few years as MGM licked its corporate wounds and did $1 million worth of reshoots and computer fixes to make the invaders North Korean instead of Chinese: Captain Cho was once “Captain Lo,” and all those North Korean stars superimposed on American flags used to be yellow and red. All of this was done to make “Red Dawn” sellable to the Chinese market. But regardless of where we live and what we do, we are all the same, and Chinese audiences will probably prefer the Swayze version, too.
— George Lang
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Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas.
(Intense war violence and action, and for language)