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Reviews Film / Red Dawn 2012

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12/28/2018 13:51:48 •••

Team America: World Police Teen Edition

Red Dawn is very much your PG-13 version of Team America: World Police. I mean, even the poster for this movie looks a lot like the poster for Team America.

This movie is pro-American propaganda, trust me I love America and I'm fine with works of art that glorify U.S. culture but this movie is just non-stop propaganda porn. The plot and character development are very half-assed, perhaps even non-existential to brainwash us with the ridiculous fear of North Koreans posing some sort of physical direct threat to us, subjugating our police so that we can't call for help. When the movie's not busy showing us the teenagers all gearing up for war and shooting the North Korean fucks, then the movie is glamorizing deer hunting, football, Call of Duty and Subway.

I also thought the movie's "science fiction" made no sense whatsoever. While the EMP blast attack from North Korea does seem feasible and should be alerting to Americans, I thought the land invasion made no sense whatsoever. How can North Korea pose a military threat to the United States? Their military is very underfed and poorly trained while the US literally is home to hundreds of millions of men who carry firearms and some of the most powerful national security and police forces on earth. Their Fat Boy dictator spends all the country's money on dolphins, jewelry, cheese, wine and nukes, he wouldn't give half a penny to feeding his soldiers better or giving them any proper Air Force. The nukes can't even reach the US mainland (I don't give a fuck what the North Korean media says, the NK nukes cannot reach US mainland), but their conventional weapons do pose a threat to South Korea (my homeland, which I am very scared for) and Japan.

I wish I could write more about this movie, but this movie is very thinly-plotted, transparent (not in a good way) and all in all tries to make North Korea as cinematic as possible. Is North Korea evil? Yes, even more so than any of our enemies in the Middle East. But is North Korea dangerous? Yes, but only if they ever get their EMP and nukes operational just like this movie shows - which will NEVER happen because they're too poor and undereducated to make that happen. Before the Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un summit of 2018 in Singapore, North Korea definitely was worrying about a ground invasion from the United States just like in Afghanistan or Iraq, not the other way around.

12/27/2018 00:00:00

Red Dawn as a premise works on the basis that the viewer wants a) to be met with the shock of seeing foreign boots marching through US suburbs and b) have those boots be defeated by plucky underdog heroes. The problem is that as the US is the greatest military power in the world by a long shot, they\'re usually the ones marching down someone else\'s street. This is why HG Wells invented super powerful martian invaders; it was the only plausible way to depict the most powerful nation on earth in a position of relative weakness.

There are ways around it but the target audience won\'t like them much. Setting a Red Dawn in a country being invaded by America, for instance, would be way more realistic but totally unpalatable. Another would be to have some sort of civil war where America turns on itself, in which case you could present what happens depending on which political group is in power and which political group is the rebellion. But that would require some earnest looks and scathing satire which will alienate a lot of the audience as well.

12/27/2018 00:00:00

War of the Worlds was set in England though...

12/27/2018 00:00:00

(which at the time, was the most powerful nation in the world, and functionally in the same place as the Modern US is now).

12/27/2018 00:00:00

Debatable but I take your point, I thought you meant WOTW was set in America so me a culpa.

12/28/2018 00:00:00

By many measures the States were already ahead of Britain economically and scientifically, but the British Empire covered a quarter of the world\'s land surface. And that was the point Wells was going for (leave aside how readers have interpreted it): he wanted to make Europeans feel like a people being subjugated and colonised, as a protest against colononialism. They are defeated by diseases, because diseases were the main stumbling block to Europeans settling in central Africa. It wasn\'t just a \"how do I make a credible antagonist\" thing, it was him big thematic point.

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