Red Dawn Remake
Is Still A Bad Idea
The Remake Of The 1984 Patrick Swayze Cult Classic Was Approved And Filmed, But Never Released After The Chinese Government Cries Foul
Adrianne Palicki, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, and Edwin Hodge will finally get their debut in the movie Red Dawn.
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 17, 2012 — Certain movies just aren’t meant to be remade.
When you have Patrick Swayze killing commies, Jennifer Grey blowing them up and the on-screen debut of Charlie Sheen all in one film, I’d say you have one of those movies.
That movie is Red Dawn, the 1984 blockbuster and cult classic released just in time for Ronald Reagan’s second term. Think Rambo meets Breakfast Club.
But unfortunately, Hollywood thought it would be a great idea to remake Red Dawn. They casted some of the hottest young names in Hollywood — Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, and old guy Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
A remake was approved and filmed — in 2009.
Three years have passed and it still hasn’t come out thanks to the film studio’s bankruptcy, political intrigue and a comedy of errors.
I’ll say it again, this film never should have been made.
The original Red Dawn is more than just a coming-of-age teen adventure war movie. Two years before Swayze and Grey were paired in Dirty Dancing, they learned to entertain the masses with explosions, gunfights and patriotic one-liners in Red Dawn.
This film was the first PG-13 flick for Pete’s sake.
The film accurately depicts the political undertones of a xenophobic, Cold War Era United States of America. It contains all of the anxiety, paranoia and fear embodied in the McCarthy Era, the red scare, Bay of Pigs and other anti-communist propaganda schemes. And, they were brought to life with a good looking teeny bopper cast to shield the public from realizing they were being indoctrinated.
This is especially true in retrospect — five years later the Soviet Union fell. The Soviets apparently weren’t capable of worldwide domination.
The 1984 version was a conservative’s wet dream. It brought to life all of their greatest fears, and reinforced all of their absurdly nationalistic ideals.
But unless a remake was made that set the story in 1984 — which again wouldn’t allow moviegoers to suspend their disbelief since the Soviet Union fell in 1989 — they needed to find a new enemy. The problem was that there is no country theoretically capable of invading the U.S. today.
As written and filmed, the main protagonists of the new Red Dawn was going to be China. The glorious red Chinese army was to invade a rural Washington town, and then go to battle with the townsfolk. That’s just ludicrous because China is getting richer every day because we buy their crap. There is no way they would invade the U.S. because it would mean a trip back to the Manchu Dynasty — and that’s not a good thing.
While few have seen the remake in any of its editing stages, any invasion is a very violent and nasty undertaking. In the original Red Dawn, the invading Soviets showed no mercy. Within the first five minutes after boots hit the ground, they killed an innocent teacher before aiming their AK-47’s on his students. The invading communists fired indiscriminately at the adolescents and later on, it was implied that they were such savages that they were even trying to rape the young women of Calumet, Colo.
The Chinese invaders likely would have undertaken similar acts in the remake, but upon finding out how their country was going to be portrayed, the Chinese government and others literally created an international incident over the entire affair. For some reason, they took offense to the notion that an American film was going to implant the idea the Chinese wanted to brutalize Americans.
So, it was decided that the enemy needed to be changed.
Thanks to CGI tech and other post production magic, the Chinese have now become the Juche Army of North Korea.
Though China remains a part of the movie’s plot, the fascist North Koreans are now the real enemy.
In the original, Swayze, Sheen, C. Thomas Howell and the rest of the Wolverines fought off the invading communist hordes of the USSR, Cuba and Nicaragua using guerilla tactics reminiscent of the American Revolution.
The young, pure, Christian and of course white Americans rose up with their underdog never say die spirit and defeated the forces of evil attempting to occupy the heartland of America.
The Wolverines out smart the occupying army with trap doors, Trojan horse tactics and woodland ambushes with inferior equipment and training, driving home the opinion that good, righteous American underdogs will always prevail. The Wolverines do so much damage they become a beacon of hope for those living in Occupied America, and a thorn in the side of those occupying.
The 2012 version is no different seeing Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck making up the core group of the teenage resistance. A handsome young white cast was assembled to fight off the invading yellow Mongol hordes. A team of white bread Americans prepared to use that good old American ingenuity to defend the motherland from the evildoers.
To be fair, they do have a token black guy in Edwin Hodge and a token latina in Alyssa Diaz, but tokens are just tokens.
Some see Red Dawn as a cult movie made strictly for entertainment. Other conservative conspiracy theorists will cry it is a sign of things to come — a message from the illuminati of an inevitable Asian invasion into America. The liberal left will cry that the republicans are trying to encourage gun ownership and anti immigrant undertones.
But what it all comes down to is both sides against the middle, one more American story where god fearing white America defends the world from differing ideas.
And the fact that in today’s U.S.A., a $100 million movie can be delayed when a scripted enemy makes a fuss.
I’ll say it one more time. Red Dawn never should have been remade.
Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, OccupyUprising.org and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.
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