Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Russians Are Coming!

As a child growing up in the eighties my imagination was captured by a little action film called Red Dawn. I recall not being able to watch it in the theater as I was only eight years old when it came out, but I saw it several years later at a friends house on VHS (yes I'm old). I also remember running around the yard after watching the movie playing USA vs Russians.

Last night my wife and I watched the movie and it was the first time she has ever seen it. For anyone who has not seen the movie it is about Russians/Cubans invading America (specifically a small town in Colorado) and a group of young high school kids who form the "Wolverines" and fight back using guerrilla style warfare. The movie has stood up pretty well over the years. Some of the acting is a bit over the top, but Patrick Swayze did a decent job as the lead character. John Milus (the director) has always been able to direct a great action movie and Red Dawn still delivers on that front. I think the most memorable scene for me was the group finding out out that they had been betrayed by a comrade and the repercussions of that betrayal. Another reason to love this movie was the inclusion of one of the great low budget 80's actors, Powers Booth. He turned in a great performance as the shot down f-15 pilot Lt. Col. Andy Tanner.

After watching the movie I was looking online and was shocked to discover that there is a remake of the movie coming out in November of this year. It will be interesting to see how the movie is updated to fit in with the current world political situation as the first movie was at the height of the Cold War and really catered to the average Americans fears.

Hopefully the new version will do justice to the original, it was originally slated to be released in 2010 but was delayed due to financial issues at MGM. The main protagonists have also changed from the Russians/Cubans to the Chinese and then most recently the North Koreans (which was done after shooting using digital effects to change Chinese symbols to N. Korean). The change from Chinese to North Korean was due to pressure from the Chinese after a version of the script was leaked, I cannot imagine all these last minute changes are a good thing.

If you have never seen the ORIGINAL Red Dawn, go out now and pick it up, its a good action movie that's still enjoyable to watch.

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