OK for kids 14+
Forgettable remake has lots of explosions, war action.
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?
The good stuff
Messages: Messages about teamwork, sticking together, kid empowerment, and standing up for what you believe in, as well as promoting self defense and acting by any means necessary to wreak havoc on the enemy. Jed, a Marine, compares the Wolverines to the insurgents in the Middle East who fought against the American army, providing the case for fighting occupying forces. The movie proves that even one flea can drive a dog crazy (i.e. a small rebel group can make a difference in a David-vs-Goliath fight).
Role models: The Wolverine clan makes sacrifices in order to try to bring down their enemy. Jed is a natural leader and tries to teach the teens around him what it means to be a soldier. Matt will do anything to save the girl he loves -- but, by doing so, he's responsible for getting a friend killed. The Wolverines all have to overcome their fear of death.
What to watch for
Violence: Several characters die (even main ones, as in the original movie). The body count includes people who are shot and others who are killed in explosions and during hand-to-hand combat. A firing squad kills a father and a bunch of people who are considered a threat to the North Korean government. Lots of explosions/crashes -- cars flip, there are lots of flames/fires, and combatants engage in gun battles. But none of it is very bloody (except when a wound is being sewn up). Some jarring camerawork makes the action feel even more frenzied.
Sex: A few kisses between teen and twentysomething couples. One couple flirts pretty heavily through most of the movie.
Language: Language includes one "f--k," plus "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "prick," "p---y," "damn," "bitch," "goddamn," "oh my God," and insults like "motard," "traitor," and "coward."
Consumerism: Subway has a prominent placement, and cars driven in the movie include Ford, Dodge RAM, Chevy, and GM. Other brands include Rolling Rock beer, Pepsi, and Hammermill paper.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Underage teens drink on a few occasions.
Fan Reviews provided by
another jiggle-fest by examatrix
Oh fer Gawd sake. Somebody buy the director of photography a steady cam already. I don't understand why these guys think they are building excitement by rocking and rolling the camera all over. This is a movie. We are the viewers,happily outside looking in. We are not impressed by having the actors wear a camera on their heads like animal planet. Distracting to the point of being unable to avoid an epileptic seizure and worse,you can't see what's going on. Lazy filmaking. And yes, I saw the original and it had more heart. Several key elements of the story were removed in this remake, and it really dumbed the thing down in order to avoid stepping on anyones toes. Seriously, rent the Patrick Swayze version, it's easier to look at and the story is all there. And one more thing: apparently the go straight to the top and learn on the job thing is still in vogue.Since Obama ratified the concept, other amateurs have been hopping into the cat bird seat with impunity. Connor Cruise? Go home.
Action by ODBPete
I am a huge fan of the original so I was very skeptical about this new version, in my mind I knew there were going to screw it up..
After seeing it last night I have to say honestly,, it was better than the original ! ..
It's so full of sitting on the edge of your seat action , a few one liners, and a few wow moments
If you liked the first one you will love this one.. don't miss it
Well done, but it ended too soon! by JonathanOfAwesometon
As far as remakes go, not too great. They changed a lot of story elements from the original. HOWEVER, they did very good adapting the America Invaded scenario to modern times and showed us a completely plausible way it could happen. I loved how they showed the strategy and thinking behind the action scenes. The acting was good, but nothing special. Josh Peck, Chris Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson held their own just fine. They're great actors but I feel they were extremely limited with the editing and direction of this film. Honestly I felt the entire film was limited by pushing it to a pg13 audience. Way too mature of matters to simply dumb down for a targeted audience. This felt more like the game Homefront than Red Dawn. But at the end of the day, it was good for it was. Though it did leave me wanting more (the ending came way to quick for my taste. It should have been longer and easily could have been.) But hey, the action is solid and the movie will keep your attention. It's good.
WOLVERINES! by Movie_Buff_86
Now let me say, this is not the original but it still was good. If you want to see a movie with lots of actions, and things getting blown up, then this is the move you want to check out. I enjoyed the flick, and i can't wait to see what is in store down the road. Instead of the Russians attacking us, we have the North Koreans who are trying to take over our country. A band of kids will do everything in their power to stop this from happening. Are you a leader or a follower?? Join the Wolverines on this journey and see where it leads them. Great movie for action junkies, and not for the faint of heart. Too much going on for children. Go check it out.
Red Dawn by wjmcbeth61
It was so-so, the premise was kind of far fetched. Why would they attack Seattle?
The acting was okay but the characters never seemed to fully embrace their roles
Any age would be fine
Best Movie I've seen this year by giantsfan
This was a great movie. Lot's of action, but a good plot and story line too. Very well made, good acting, and a believable story. ?The audience all clapped after the movie and several people yessed, "Go America!"
Highly recommend you see this movie. Ignore the overly sensitive critics. If you want to ben entertained and uplifted, this is the movie.
Awesome! by dear7allycatangel
This movie has to be my all time favorite movie ever! The excitement was great and even though it's kinda sad it's funny at the same time
A Seized Opportunity by SeeBetterfromaDistance
This movie is truly one of the best films this year. The acting is quite impressive for action movie about teens fighting for their country. I cried more than once, and chances are your heart will break too. There is an appropriate amount of comic relief thrown in, but it doesn't feel forced in any way. It works.
The shaky camera technique is used during many action scenes, adding a sense of chaos which fits perfectly to the film. Dialogue is well thought out, and wonderfully delivered, never feeling out of character or forced.
If you are an action movie fan, you'll absolutely love it. If you're not an action movie person, you will be completely satisfied. A wonderfully done film that will leave you wanting more.
Not as good as the original by tom02825
Good movie with updated special effects, but nowhere near as good as the original. The ending left you hanging, kind of like it's being transitioned to a TV series. Not disappointed but not in a hurry to see it again. Have seen the original a dozen times.
Ignore the Leftwing Critics by BrianBailey
Is this a great movie? No, not by a long shot but it's very enjoyable on its own terms. A good actionerr . The critics hate it based on their political agenda. There's even a scene where the occupiers are making a public appearance and saying the how the people should be grateful since they saved us from corrupt capitalists and Wall St. Exactly what we just finished hearing during the campaign just ended and OWS before that. Can't beat that class warfare and the politics of envy.
Would I have preferred the producers hadn't wussed out and renamed the enemy from the Red Chinese to N Korea? Sure. It might have been even more interesting (and plausible) to make the invaders UN troops but that would have meant a longer exposition and setup.
The flick may jolt some young products of our government schools but I though the movie was every bit as (im)plausible than movies like Lions for Lambs or Rendition. And a heck of a lot more action.
It might even recruit future Marines. S/F