Ron Phillips
Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 20, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Red Dawn

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell
director
John Milius
author
John Milius
genre
Drama, ActionAdventure

We gave it a C

In Red Dawn, a group of American high school kids outwit, outlast, and outplay an army of evil foreigners who have invaded Spokane, Wash., with the intention of…well, of making audiences nostalgic for Commie-era movies featuring evil foreigners one could gaily boo without worrying about real-life consequences. It so happens that the meanies in this videogame-lite remake of John Milius’ Reaganite 1984 gonzo classic are North Korean. (They were originally supposed to be Chinese, but the producers got nervous at the last minute about offending the planet’s rising superpower.)

The aggressors could have easily been Indonesian, or Cambodian, or any foreigners, really, for all that politics matter in this fantasy of young people going rogue and fighting for their right to party, American-style. (They call themselves the Wolverines, after their high school football team. BOO-yah.) Under the direction of longtime stunt coordinator Dan Bradley (The Bourne Ultimatum), the cast looks pretty while playing with guns — but nothing more. Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth leads the pack as a high school football star-turned-Marine, while Josh Peck plays his stubborn younger brother. There’s also a collection of junior guerrillas, including The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson and Friday Night Lights‘ Adrianne Palicki. Take that, screaming North Koreans with no agenda! C

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