Review: Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson

Director: Dan Bradley

Indian Express rating: *1/5

CHINA perhaps doesn't know whether to cry or laugh. Or perhaps it's clever enough not to care. Apparently when this remake of a 1984 film was first imagined, the villain invading the US was to be Beijing. Then the distributors panicked at the thought of the huge Chinese market and made a "slight" amendment -- to "North Korea". And why not? Didn't just they blast a rocket into space?

Forget how a country struggling to feed its people and the ego of its Supreme Leader, with few eyes across the world not trained on it, made not just its way to the US but ran it over -- apparently just dropping down on parachutes. Forget how the college kids who eventually trounce it, just look at them and pronounce "North Korea!" -- apparently Pyongyang's flag is a recognisable image. Forget where the famed US might is -- apparently no electronic network is functional to go into that detail.

Mercifully, this Chris Hemsworth-helmed project (he is an ex-Marine, get it?) knows its strength is not talking too much and hoping neither does anyone else. The most insight we get into the group of five-six is the name they give themselves -- "Wolverines". Dialogue is minimal, action continuous and the North Koreans compliant, succumbing to college-level hit-and-run sabotage.

If it's any consolation to North Korea, the 1984 film dealt with Soviet, Nicaraguan and Cuban invasion, all of them together. Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen making short work of Moscow -- now that was true-blue Hollywood jingoism. Tom Cruise's adopted son Connor does make his quiet, big-budget debut here, but the chops all belong to Chris 'Thor' Hemsworth. What chance does Pyongyang have?

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