Movie Recommendation of the Week: Red Dawn (1984)

I bring up the movie Red Dawn for two reasons.  The first is that we’ve never mentioned it before and it’s a really cool movie from the 80s.  The other reason I mention it is because for the first time in a long time I actually think this is a decent movie to do a remake of.   And it’s simply because the concept is timeless and in today’s day and age this could be an awesome flick if done right.   The new movie is set to release this November and involves Korea.  Personally I don’t think it’s going to be good but I guess we’ll see if Chris Helmsworth can carry the movie.    As far as the older one, here’s the plot.

It is the dawn of World War III.  The U.S. and Russia are on the brink.  Out of nowhere comes an attack on U.S. soil.   In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

The bottom line is that this could potentially happen anywhere and at any time so the premise is definitely set.  The older movie from the 80s starred Patrick Swayze, C Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey.    Check out the trailer below….


Definitely an 80s movie worth watching.

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  1. Awesome movie, not spoiled by any bad hollywood plots. Simple, straight forward, and a believable story of what could take place if an invasion really happened. Great recommendation.

  2. Well, it’s VERY 80’s. I’ll give you that. Let me break down my takes the opening scenes for those who might think that the awesome premise is done justice or even takeen seriously in this one. A midwestern high school is the landing zone for the Soviet military, as that would naturally be the first target to neutralize and secure. The Soviets then commence firing their rockets down the hallway of the highschool while the infantry riddles the teenagers’ parked cars with gunfire. Now you might think that by the time the US military retaliates the commies would be out of ammo, but that turns out to not be a problem because the only defense America can muster up is a single helicopter whose assault tactic is to fly back and forth down the middle of main street, presumably while the Russians look for rocks to throw at it.

    I suppose this Sci-Fi Channel-esque insanity is just to set up the premise that a bunch of teenagers could potentially take on the Soviet military since they are portrayed to be incompetent and otherwise unopposed. Or perhaps the story behind the story is that the American government actually manufactured the Communist takeover, which would explain why the US allowed Russian paratroopers to penetrate thousands of miles into our airspace and why the military didn’t respond even after commies began massacring parked cars, forcing children to take up arms and defend our country. I don’t really get how this is considered a good film. It’s cheesy fun I guess, so it’s good in the way say Nightmare on Elm Street 3 is, but the cold hard truth is that it could have been done waaaay better.

  3. Wolverines!
    High on the list of movies I rewatched endlessly as a kid in the ’80s.
    I won’t pass judgment on the remake before it comes out, because a big part of my negativity would, admittedly, be due to my nostalgic love for the original. But I think it bears remembering (or understanding, for those too young to have lived through the tail end of the Cold War) just how plausible the “Soviets invade the U.S.” scenario felt. As a kid, I believed with absolute certainty that I would see World War III between the USA and USSR, and this movie felt so gritty– not stylized or over-the-top like Arnold’s action films– that it did not seem even remotely far-fetched to imagine this happening. After all, in elementary, we used to practice hiding under our desks during a bomb strike with the same frequency we had fire drills. And my junior high had a bomb shelter in the basement. No matter how the new “Red Dawn” turns out, it will be missing that undercurrent of paranoia and plausibility that drove the original.
    But, bright side: 30 years ago, no one would have believed we would ever reach any sort of (grudging, but real) peace with the Soviet Union (within less than a decade from the release of the original, it should be noted). Let’s hope our troubles and disagreements in the Middle East (an with N. Korea) seem just as outdated 10 years from now!

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