” The new Red Dawn remake is a fine example of a number of dispiriting trends in the filmmaking industry. The picture was based on a brand name instead of a heartfelt original tale. The studios mutilated it in order to placate Chinese Communists. And it was served up to audiences that studios assume will eat whatever they are served.
Ever-increasing budgets and declining domestic audiences have forced studios to look for box office success abroad. “Aimed at Bangkok and Bangalore as much as at Bangor,” David Denby recently wrote in the New Republic, “our big movies have been defoliated of character, wit, psychology, local color.” He’s right.
But it is not only the adult dramas championed by Denby that have been sapped of their vitality; action films, too, have seen plot and character sacrificed for commerce.
Just compare the original Red Dawn with its remake.
Made in 1984 for a budget of a little more than $4 million, John Milius’ story of teenage American partisans fighting a Communist invasion in the mountains of Colorado during World War III was a modest financial success, with a gross of more than $38 million.
Perhaps more importantly, the original Red Dawn annoyed all the right people. The New York Times review described it as “technically proficient, emotionally infantile, politically nuts.” The picture, like Rambo, became a cultural touchstone for Reagan’s America. “
- MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Red Dawn’ (washingtontimes.com)
- “I Would Have Done It About Mexico.” American Hero John Milius Denounces Red Dawn Remake (amren.com)
- Red Dawn: The Movie That Will Make You Hate America (deadspin.com)
- Why Do North Koreans Invade The U.S. In ‘Red Dawn’ Remake? For The Money, Of Course. (forbes.com)
- A Remake That Will Leave Fans Seeing ‘Red’ (npr.org)
- Remake of ‘Red Dawn’ Changes Its Political Hue (rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Marine Corps Releases New ‘Red Dawn’ Recruiting Commercial To Theaters | The Duffel Blog (xbradtc.wordpress.com)