Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Connor Cruise, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
b! Says: **1/2
Red Dawn is a Junior Expendables movie in disguise
'Red Dawn' is a mindless entertainer, featuring plenty of coming-of-age beefcake and boom boom. Think of it as a Junior Expendables - where aeging, alpha superstars are replaced with pimply teenagers doing what they do best - huff and puff till they make a million teenage girls feel faint. The movie may prove a little too 'pretty boy' for fans of the original 1984 movie, but it's still a fun ride.
A sleepy American town receives a nasty jolt when the North Koreans launch a surprise invasion. As enemy paratroopers fall from the skies, a bunch of youngsters manage to escape arrest. The group consists of jaded marine (Chris Hemsworth), his love interest (Adrianne Palicki), his little brother (Josh Peck) and others (Josh Hutcherson, Connor Cruise, Steve Lenz). As more refugees add to their group and some see their parents brutally murdered, the gang christen themselves the Wolverines and decide to fight back, in the hope that more will rebel and overthrow Korean rule.
The movie has as many adrenaline filled moments as it does those that will make you roll your eyes. These kids might be at war, but still find time to make goo-goo eyes at each other and even break out the beer to celebrate a bloody skirmish. There are lapses in logic aplenty and in true Hollywood fashion, the first casualties of the group are black and Hispanic characters (Connor Cruise lasts a little longer and he probably has to thank celebrity parents, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, for it). Still, some of the renegade attacks and the invasion sequence (see video below) are well played out and with a running time of less than two hours, it's ends before turning intolerable.
As for the actors, Hemsworth hasn't seemed to have shaken off his Asgardian accent yet, but still makes for a dishy ringleader. The other stars (read: teenage pin-up sensations), that include Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) and Peck (Drake & Josh), are less impressive.
'Red Dawn' will please action buffs with low standards. The rest had best stay away.