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Movie Review: 'Red Dawn'

A sneak attack by boredom is far more likely from this new “Red Dawn,” followed by a video visit with the Patrick Swayze version to restore order.
Oklahoman Published: November 21, 2012

“Red Dawn” would be forgiven for its lack of geopolitical logic if it could summon a sliver of actual fun, but even hard-core fans of John Milius' 1984 camp classic about Colorado teenagers beating back a Soviet invasion will not be blown away by this new version by stunt coordinator-turned-director Dan Bradley. A sneak attack by boredom is far more likely, followed by a video visit with the Patrick Swayze version to restore order.

Several new “truths” must be accepted for this post-Cold War retooling to work, including North Korea's suddenly hemispheric aircraft range, the utter failure of U.S. air defenses due to budget cuts and the absence of any inkling of an invasion in an era of comprehensive satellite imagery. Also, a group of teenagers can be taught to fight at Special Forces levels after a two-minute training montage. Other than those king-size stretches, “Red Dawn” makes perfect sense.

This time out, “Red Dawn” takes place in Spokane, Wash., where Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth of “Thor” and “The Avengers”) has returned after serving in Iraq. After a massive power outage, North Korean paratroopers rain down on the city, immobilizing the region and putting it under control of the menacing Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee). Jed takes younger brother Matt (Josh Peck) and his friends Robert (Josh Hutcherson of “The Hunger Games”), Daryl (Connor Cruise) and Toni (Adrianne Palicki of “Friday Night Lights”) out to a remote hunting cabin and transforms them into lean, mean, fighting “Wolverines,” named for Matt's high school football team.

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‘Red Dawn'

PG-131:332 stars

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas.

(Intense war violence and action, and for language)


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