Red Dawn: 3/10

Red Dawn Film Review.

(This video is for lazy people who can’t be bothered to read the review, but want to listen instead)
We sat down, Me and Charles that is, a couple of rows from the back of the cinema. It was shown in screen 4, which at Cineworld Chesterfield is a small screen, and despite it’s relatively recent release this should’ve provided us with warning signs there and then that this film wasn’t going to be as great as one would’ve hoped for. We were 10 minutes late and missed a few adverts, but this was because we nipped in to MacDonald’s for a pre-cinema treat, but we were just in time for the trailers. Which is one of the best parts of today’s outing.

The film follows two brothers as we watch ‘their homeland’ get invaded by angry North Koreans. Seems legit. In fact, I’ve decided to draw a brief synopsis of my own, I say synopsis, it’s more a plot outline.

‘We follow some high school footballer (who has potential to be good but doesn’t deliver) and his family are the focus of a North Korean (previously China but we will talk about that later) invasion on their homeland. They escape the grasp of the scary North Koreans and manage to form their own terrorist group called ‘Wolverines’. They train themselves thanks to the high school guys older brother who happened to be recently out of the Marines. The film progresses, and we find out more about the inter-stories which connects them all and how the invasion is fought by this small terrorist cell.

It all sounds well and good, and OK I maybe made a few things sound not potentially great. Like calling the main guy ‘some high school guy’ probably sums up my sympathy towards him and the rest of the cast. Every other scene was an explosion of emotion where everybody was crying, or close to tears. I am extremely sorry to say it was difficult to stomach one deep emotional conversation after another. The main brothers were crying in literally every scene towards the end, and fair play it was a tense and horrible situation to be in, but you’ve got to remember there is an audience who has to stomach all of this mush in between nonsensical violence.

The film feels low budget in a lot of places. The camera work is very shaky and feels dated in comparison to recent Hollywood exports, however it doesn’t detract too much from the action happening on screen. What I am trying to say is that the nice smooth shots when all is calm, compared to the erratic jerky camera movements whilst there is action is a nice comparison in itself, however is frustrating when we actually want to see what is happening rather than guessing. Each scene was poorly cut together as well, Me and my friend Charles were subject to some ghastly ‘fade to’s’ between the end of a segment and the start of another. Some other horror stories involved are the continuities upon cuts which were blatantly obvious, it’s as if there was no continuity staff involved on any location shoots. The hug where one of the characters arms come awkwardly under, but we cut to the next shot and she has her arms over on the hug, as if by magic some may say. Something which I maybe would’ve expected from The Amazing Burt Wonderstone.

The enemy is North Korea. But it was originally China. Ok fair play you have to change the main bad guy because of politics, that’s ok. At least re-shoot some of the film please. I don’t want to watch subtitled Chinese men speaking dubbed Korean not synced up to their speech! Or do i? No. The actual conversations the North Koreans had were mind numbing and extremely simple. One of the men issued an order to one of the other men (not a great description, but names in this movie are so forgettable, I think it was general woo and a member of his army) he said something about going to defeat the Wolverines, and the sentence ended with NOW! As if we as the audience couldn’t tell how keen he wanted the order doing by shouting at the top of his voice, the film makers decided it was necessary to put now in capital letters just in case we were unaware of the emphasis given by the actor.

The 12a rating is slightly ambitious. If I had a son/daughter who was 12 I would certainly not allow them to see this. Not only is it politically inaccurate it is also semi graphic, and contains potentially upsetting scenes. Not to mention the use of the F word. Which for a 12 year old to hear would affect their delicate and innocent minds. Although at that age I had said the F word so many times I’d grown out of it by the time I was 13. I refer to potentially upsetting scenes if you actually cared about any of the characters involved, which is highly unlikely because it is so alienating.

The film overall was watchable. There is no denying this. And no this isn’t really a review is it? It is just a vague piece of scripture which literally tares apart a film which many people poured there blood sweat and tears in to. Which fair play, there are things that are going for this film, the patriotism shown by the Americans is sure to hit the target market over there. Here in England however it misses the mark, because we, as a nation, are possibly the least self loving of our Country.

It is a decent ‘popcorn flick’ (this is the new saying for those really cheesy dated films with really poor scripts but a decent budget so there is action of sorts) and is completely watchable with a friend, or group of friends. That being said I stood up from my seat as the credits rolled and instantly felt dumber than when I had sat down an hour and a half before.

Go and watch it if there is literally nothing else to watch – 3/10

The pictures are there to keep the review focused.

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