If you liked the first Red Dawn, you’ll probably like the new version. If you didn’t like the first one, you’ll probably won’t like this year’s version.
photo by Ronald Woan
The main difference is the 1984 version was about a rural group of teens who attacked any foolish occupiers who stepped outside of the city, and they ambushed supply convoys. This old version was in touch with the gun/knife culture, and they traveled by horseback.
This year’s version is about urban warfare, with the teens sneaking back into the city and shooting at occupiers from windows or alleys. They seem to walk into the city, and one scene features a skateboard.
Fans of the original will be glad to know the new version did not go politically correct: Jed (Chris Hemsworth) and the others do not show any compunction about killing the occupiers. And Robert (Josh Hutcherson) still cries “Wolverines!” but in a different context.
photo by Slackerwood
What’s interesting is to see Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson before they were famous. The most famous actor who was cast at the time (who shall remain nameless, since this blog does not flame people) had his claim to fame from Nickelodeon, and he’s not that good in this movie. But they surrounded him with talented unknowns, and it’s interesting to see who has gone on to fame.
I liked both versions of Red Dawn. Of course, the main weakness to both is this ragtag band of teenagers get into and out of bad situations too easily.
To see an Australian version of the same concept, rent Tomorrow, When the War Began.