Friday, January 21, 2011

1/50: Red Dawn

At the beginning of the year I pledged that I would do my best to watch 50 films I had not seen during the coming year. I once thought this would be a difficult task, but I have already knocked out almost 10 of those movies and it isn't even the end of January. So, I decided to add another 50 to that list - but I must first finish the original 50.

So, the first film of the year that I watched from the list was Red Dawn.

Red Dawn
came out in 1984 when I was just three years old, and for some reason (like many of the films on the list) I just never got around to watching it. I had the basic premise down, but I didn't know exactly how things played out.

Let me say, they wasted no time getting to the plot of the film. Not five minutes in and the small town is being attacked by Soviet/Cuban military.

A group of friends led by brothers, Jed (Patrick Swayze) and Matt (Charlie Sheen) find their way to the woods to try and wait out the attack. What they thought would be a few days begins to turn into months - fearing he worst the brothers and Robert (C. Thomas Howell) head back into town to see what is going on. The Soviet/Cuban military has taken over and tossed anyone who owned a gun into a prison, including Jed and Matt's father.

As they head back to their hideout, the group stops at a family friends house for food and shelter - only to be asked to take care of the family's granddaughters, Erica (Lea Thompson) and Toni (Jennifer Grey).

Realizing now that they are all on their own, the young group decides to become a militia - calling themselves 'Wolverines'. They end up being joined by a member of the US military whose plane is shot down, Andrew Tanner (Powers Boothe). Together, they take it upon themselves to take out as many of the Soviet/Cuban forces as possible.

I hear that this film is being remade, which is going to be very difficult. It is hard to believe that even in 1984 military forces could land in a small town undetected - but not in 2011. Plus, the group of kids had no communication to the outside world except a small radio - do you really think nowadays that none of the kids would have a cellphone on them?

I thought it was a pretty decent film. Weird to see a young Patrick Swayze and an even younger Charlie Sheen. Funny to see C. Thomas Howell's character go a little crazy and blood thirsty. And, weird to see so many of these characters in an action/war movie when we are used to them in romantic comedies.


1 comment:

  1. I too saw this pretty late (maybe two years ago), though I think a remake could do it good. It sure didn't come across as all that classic to me - a classic cast, perhaps, but not too many memorable scenes. It's a movie that sounds great on paper, but I just didn't think it was executed all that well.

    "It is hard to believe that even in 1984 military forces could land in a small town undetected - but not in 2011."

    Who says they have to land? As evidenced by real-life events, it'd be quite possible for a team of 'the enemy' to be living among us and subsequently take over a small town. Good call on the cell phones, though. But I guess even that could be resolved - couldn't the bad guys just knock out all the cell phone towers as their first strike?