Red Dawn 1984 Vs Red Dawn 2012

Many people have asked me about my opinion on the Red Dawn remake. Overall I thought it was a good movie. I think a lot of people already dismissed it before watching it. I thought it wouldn’t be as good as the original, but I didn’t rule out the possibility that it could be a good movie. As a true Red Dawn fan, I was looking forward to seeing it and hit the theater the day it came out.

First, I’ll say that the plot is a lot less silly than I thought it would be when I first heard there was going to be a Red Dawn remake. I figured it was going to be some kind of cheesy nod to Cold War paranoia and the bad guys would no doubt be some sort of Invasion USA-style terror cell with Chuck Norris. I was happy to know that China was going to be the lead, not because it’s sinophobic or anything, but because it adds a bit more realism to the plot when there’s a tangible enemy. Without something like that, you might as well have the Joker and United Underworld invading the United States. I understand why they would switch the enemy from China to North Korea (because they’d miss out on the big Chinese movie market and diplomatically it’s not nice), but it took a ton of realism out of the plot.

If you want to get an idea of ​​how the bad Chinese perspective on China would have gone, look back at the 2006 Turkish film Valley of the Wolves (Turkish Kurtlar Vadisi – Iraq) where Turkish forces take revenge on an American unit. operating in Kurdish Iraq who detain some Turkish commandos. It is based on a real life event in which US forces showed up and detained some Turkish commandos, even going as far as blindfolding and handcuffing them, causing much outrage in Turkey. Regardless, the movie gives an alternate ending to that story. The US State Department was not happy with the film and the US actors (Gary Busey, for example) involved in it were turned down. I know Netflix refused to stream it and I don’t think any official copy has ever seen the light of day in the US. I tried to keep an eye out for a copy in Istanbul two years ago but no luck. It can be found on the Internet. I’ve watched the first 10 minutes or so and it doesn’t look that good. They did a sequel to the Palestine flotilla incident a few years back which also caused a bit of a stir. The movie did well in Turkey, around the Middle East and Germany (large Turkish population), but was more or less shut out of the US market and lost a ton of revenue. The guys who made the Red Dawn remake probably didn’t want to be left out of China. If you’re banned in North Korea, who cares?

I think the biggest difference between the original and the remake was the overall tone and style. The original is very dark and gloomy. There is a feeling of dehumanization in all aspects of life, which leads to indifference towards life and cynicism. The Wolverines do get a few wins over the Soviets, but it comes at a high cost. We see and hear shocking acts against American civilians. Life in the occupied United States is much like life in many other places throughout the 20th century that suffered from war and occupation. In the new version, there are some scenes of civilians being killed, but life in general seems to go on as normal, just with the addition of some checkpoints and censorship. The Wolverines maintain a certain sense of teenage normalcy between them to the point where it really does feel like an episode of Degrassi High with guns. With all due respect to Tomorrow When The War Began, the remake reminded me more of this movie than the original Red Dawn.

I think that in the new version, the audience is steered away from some of the more disturbing themes and images of the original. We don’t see as many dead civilians, the civilians seem more upset by the whole experience than scared like in the original, there’s not a lot of news of really horrible things happening around the world, and there’s less bloodshed on the side of the good guys. SPOILER ALERT!!! The scenes involving Daryl and the ending of him were completely toasted compared to the original. The ending where Matt goes on to form this great resistance movement and leaves the viewer with a sense of optimism has a very different vibe from the original ending, where it is implied that the US ultimately won, but at a cost. very high. I thought the new version had some good points. The relationship between Matt and Jed played out much better in the new version, with a lot of sibling rivalry between the two. I had the feeling that something like this was happening in the original, but it wasn’t as apparent as it was in the new version. I also really liked the opening sequence which involves a series of news clips (some of them even real) exposing the geopolitical situation in the world. I thought it was cool that Jed was a Marine. Not only because I’m an ex-Marine, but I always thought that the character of Jed in the original would have made a little more sense if they had him as a guy who did four years in the military after high school and came back to Calumet to settle. It would have been hard to make him a vet in the original (unless, of course, he stormed into Grenada with Gunny Highway), but making Jed a vet in the remake made some of the technical aspects easier to figure out. explain. I also liked some of the references to the original. I can’t think of specific examples right now, but there were some subtle ones played well.

I heard the original Red Dawn had a scene in a McDonald’s, but the stills I’ve seen make it seem like a place for raiders’ fun and recreation, not a place where townspeople could stop and grab a Big Mac and chips on his way back to the internment camp after a hard day of street sweeping and grave digging. In the remake, there was a scene where the Wolverines stumbled across a fully functioning subway, full of civilians having dinner and it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary was happening outside. Come on… I hope whoever did this got a big check from Subway for putting that scene up there.

Another minor thing I didn’t like was one of the characters that came with “Andrew Tanner” the one who kept making comments about crap sandwiches and calling people “bikers” and whatnot. I think this guy was the most awkward Marine Corps archetype I’ve ever seen on film, and I’ve seen them all.

When Red Dawn came out in 1984, it was considered the most violent movie ever released. The remake may have just as much violence, if not more, but it falls flat compared to the original and comes across as just another action movie. My interpretation of the original is that it brought many of the real-life horrors of the 20th century to an American audience and provided a reasonably realistic depiction of what war looks like when it’s on the doorstep of a nation that has only experienced war collectively. more than an arm’s length away. The original challenged the notion of American Exceptionalism and reminded us to stay tuned, while the new version seemed to reinforce the idea of ​​American Exceptionalism. I don’t think the remake ever had anything deeper than what’s on the surface, just like everything else coming out of Hollywood these days. In other words, I probably won’t write “Wolverines: Reflections on the Red Dawn Remake”. I think you’re looking at all my “thoughts” on it right now.

I think America could use another Red Dawn to remind us of the true costs of war, as well as the dangers of what happens when we become too complacent as a society and count on “it can’t happen to us!” mentality to protect us from danger. A lot has happened since the original’s release in 1984. While I was entertained for the two hours I was in the theater watching the remake, it wasn’t Red Dawn that I feel America needs right now.

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