As some of you may know, I am not ashamed to admit that I am a big fan of Red Dawn. As a child of the 80s, I missed this first time around, and it wasn\'t until the 90s that I was able to enjoy the glory of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Huey Lewis, Magnum P.I., Optimus Prime and other such mainstays of 80s entertainment. Actually, for all that I love the movie, I can\'t really remember any of the main actors beyond that (and I grant my memory may be hazy on what role Huey Lewis actually played...). I know Powers Boothe was in it, thus making it a better film than it probably should have been, as was William Smith (better known as Clint Eastwood\'s bare-knuckle adversary in Any Which Way You Can or Arnie\'s dad in Conan The Barbarian). Oh, and that guy that played Lois and Clark\'s boss in that execrable mid-90s Superman series, whatever his name was. But more than the dubious cast, and more than the suspension of disbelief required to accept schoolkids waging a successful guerrilla war against highly-trained soldiers, I love Red Dawn for its sheer, unyielding and uncompromising Cold War viewpoint. After all, if movies have taught me anything, it\'s that after Nazis, there is no villain more terrifying, more brutally efficient than a Soviet officer, especially a political officer. In fact if it came down to a fight between the biggest villains of the movie world, the winner would be Steven Berkoff in Rambo: First Blood Part II.
with that love of the \'Dawn clearly a pillar of my life, I was stuck in a quandary
when I learned of the remake: Red Dawn! But with China instead of the USSR! While part
of me balks at the idea of remaking the film at all, I\'ll admit that I am a
little intrigued at how it might turn out. Given that it has no real names in
the cast, except for Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Powers Boothe (a passable
replacement, given the alternatives - though somewhat unforgivable given that
Powers Boothe is still alive and kicking!), I'm a little worried. However, on
paper, at least, Red Dawn 2010 looks to be much in the same vein as the original -
dastardly invading commies? Check. All-American schoolkids? Check? Emotional
Central American colonels? Umm… pass. Still, you can\'t have everything.
merits of the remake aside, it seems as though the Australians have jumped
onboard the Red Dawn bandwagon (that has been running since 1984), and are due to
release a film that is, for all intents and purposes, Red Dawn Down Under. Based on a series of books by
John Marsden, it tells the story of an invasion by an unnamed (though, judging
by the trailers, Asian) nation, and the insurgency carried out by schoolkids.
In fact, from the official website of the film, the synopsis reads: “When their
country is invaded and families taken, eight unlikely high school teenagers
band together to fight.” Now, leaving aside for a moment the confusion I have
over how they could be “unlikely high school teenagers” (for some reason, I
keep picturing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), that sounds almost exactly
like Red Dawn.
Perhaps their group is going to be named the Dingoes after the high school
sports team. I would bet money on one of the group (probably the mayor\'s son)
swallowing a tracking device and helping the occupiers find the group, before
being executed by his former friends.
Looks like there\'s really nothing new under the sun. Remakes I can just about stomach, but new films that are essentially the same as earlier ones…? I'll give both films a chance to prove me wrong, but I'm not holding out too much hope, it has to be said.