Red Dawn: Latest Cinematic Re-boot Symbolizes Jittery Political Overtones

Updated 5 years ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Original 1984 Poster for "Red Dawn"
Original 1984 Poster for "Red Dawn"

In Red Dawn, a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target.

Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the “Wolverines”, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.

Red Dawn, which opens Wednesday,  is a re-boot of the 1984 box office cult-classic hit film that made stars of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Darren Dalton, Brad Savage and Powers Booth. The timing on the release of that action film couldn’t have been better; it was in an era when the Cold War was still kicking and then-President Ronald Reagan was calling the Soviet Union the “evil empire.” Now under the direction of first-time director Dan Bradley, the 2012 release boasts a cast of Hollywood’s new up and coming actors including Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. And now, the timing of this re-boot couldn’t be better. The essential themes of the original remain the same – fighting for what you believe in and protecting your homeland.

Home on leave from the Marines, Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) and his brother Matt (Peck) have the initial instinct to fight back when their small town is attacked by North Korean soldiers- a different take from the Soviet Union invasion of the original film. The brothers and their friends form an insurgent group to take their fight to the streets in a valiant attempt to outwit and overcome the intruders, save their homes and their country, and take back their freedom.

Producer Tripp Vinson says, “The re-boot is heavily inspired by the original. There are a lot of fans out there that loved the original, but we spent a lot of time thinking about the story and how to augment it to make it work in today’s world. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of it.”

The contemporary action thriller is directed by Dan Bradley (Quantum of Solace as second unit director) and is produced by Beau Flynn (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, The Guardian) and Tripp Vinson (The Guardian). Kevin Halloran (Tooth Fairy) and Vince Newman (A Man Apart) served as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia), Jeremy Passmore (Special) and Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton). Richard Pearson (Iron Man 2) edited, with a score by Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man).

The cast features Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Snow White And the Huntsman, Avengers, Star Trek), Josh Peck (The Wackness), Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, TV’s “Friday Night Lights”), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), Connor Cruise (Seven), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Edwin Hodge (“Young Americans”), Alyssa Diaz (Oh Baby!), Julian Alcaraz (Becoming Eduardo), Will Yun Lee (Elektra), Brett Cullen (Reunion), Michael Beach (Hell Ride) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, The Possession and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”).


(Provided by Film District, producers of the film.)

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