What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 teen-soldier drama. As in the original, there are several battle scenes that feature character deaths (mostly from shooting, but also from explosions and hand-to-hand combat). There's a some strong language ("s--t," "ass," "bitch," and one "f--k") and a couple of passionate kisses, but it's really the body count and some iffy racial issues (all of the minority characters die, and the North Korean enemies were originally Chinese) that are most likely to raise eyebrows. But the movie, especially if seen in conjunction with the original, could still provide some good discussion fodder about the historical threat of Communism versus today's more technological threats. And you can expect teens to be interested, thanks to stars Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson.
- Families can talk about Red Dawn's violence. How does it compare to what you've seen in other action movies? In horror movies? Which has more impact, and why?
- The movie's antagonists were originally the Chinese, but the studio changed the enemy to the North Koreans. Why do you think the change was made? Do you think the Koreans pose a real threat to America? Does that affect how you experience the movie?
- For those familiar with the original, how does this iteration compare to the '80s version? Some critics have accused the remake of being racist, both in its depiction of Asians and the way it kills off all the kids of color. What do you think?
- Talk about the enduring popularity of remakes. Does this take on Red Dawn seem as relevant as the first film?