After much delay the remake of the 1984 Commie invasion flick Red Dawn finally hit the theatres this week. Seeing a review in the paper this morning I decided to check the Rotten Tomatoes page for the film. It currently has a rating of 11 percent. Sure, the film is a failure with the critics, but it's quite a way above the "Watch this film and you might die, it's that horrible!" level of something like Ballistic: Ecks vs. Severe. It actually has several positive reviews, although even those are of the "damning with faint praise" genre. Still, positive reviews are positive reviews.
No doubt some US right wing commentators will claim the bad reviews are because US movie reviewers are all a bunch of leftist traitors. But the reality is that the concept of the film is ridiculous. It's even more ridiculous given the decision to change the villains in the film to the North Koreans from the Chinese after the bulk of filming was done, delaying the release of the film. The change came because the studio was afraid the film might not get played in the increasingly lucrative Chinese market with the Chinese as villains. But it's a decision that may have hurt the film. Viewers might have a slightly easier time suspending their disbelief with Chinese baddies, but the North Koreans? Even with the help of the macguffin used in the film they'd have trouble invading a Sandals resort, let alone the United States.
Thinking about the 1984 original I realised this morning I remember nothing of its debut, or the critical reaction at the time. I remember other Cold War oriented pieces of the era, like The Day After and the later "Soviets conquer the US!" miniseries Amerika, but not the original Red Dawn. I wonder what distracted my attention.
It will be interesting to see how much money the film makes. Will the nostalgia some people have for the original fill theatre seats? Will the premise draw in younger viewers? The initial box office results will probably tell the tale.