Ten Things You Should Know About Red Dawn 2012
1. Josh Peck is terrible in this. I didn’t watch Drake & Josh, so I wasn’t seeing him as an R&B singer’s plucky sidekick, but his idea of being an action hero is talking constantly in a prepubescent Batman voice. It’s hilarious. “Alfred, I had a funny dream about Catwoman and when I woke up my bed was sticky!”
2. Adrianne Palicki is very fetching in a leather jacket, making it all the more confusing when one of the male characters states that he misses girls that “don’t have AKs.” And if you ever wanted to see Thor and Wonder Woman get it on, this is the movie for you. Me, I’m holding out for Bridget Regan and Chris Evans to star in a film together. The fanvid will be set to Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” ft. Josh.
3. Now, in real life, North Korea is a ‘country’ in the same sense that the girls on Teen Mom 2 have ‘futures’. So how are they able to occupy America, which is so invincible that not even Lindsey Lohan can die? The movie adroitly justifies this by having a character say “This makes no sense” and another telling him “They must’ve had help.” Then later, a Russian guy shows up, making you wonder why they didn’t just cut out the middleman and have Russia invade themselves. Maybe they were hoping Gangnam Style would lead to a sudden desire to see Koreans blown up en masse? Good theory, but…
4. The antagonists were originally going to be Chinese, before they decided to change it rather than risk offending them, since if Hollywood can’t point a camera at two people fighting properly, you can be damn sure they can’t get jingoism right. For my money, they should’ve changed the bad guys to the Vietnamese. “You couldn’t beat us in Vietnam, joe, now we come for you!” Then Thor shoots the leader with a flare gun. “Not this time, charlie.” If you’re going to be dumb, be DUMB.
5. Speaking of shakycam, everything is filmed that way, even the final battle. Perhaps in an attempt to make it look like an Asian guy the size of Kristin Chenoweth could take a punch from Thor and not turn into a dwarf star.
6. Of all the great Asian villain names–Chang, Khan, other names with a hard K sound–our Big Bad’s name is… Cho. Which never fails to make the heroes sound mean as they plot their violent revenge on him. C’mon, Cho sounds like one of Mulan’s delightful sidekicks!
7. In case you are wondering how a bunch of average high school students are able to set up a resistance movement, learn to outfight crack North Korean troops, gather an endless supply of guns and ammunition, build bombs, and avoid recognition despite never concealing their identities–this is covered in a montage. Imagine how much better Full Metal Jacket would’ve been if Chris Hemsworth’s dulcet tones had walked us through all of base camp in two minutes so we could get to an endless series of explosions in Vietnam.
7a. Despite the near-universal support of the populace, delicious Subway sandwiches are only obtainable by armed robbery.
7b. And to show the hardship and degradation through which the protagonists struggle, they only drink Heineken.
8. In the opening action sequence, the North Koreans parachute in. One of the paratroopers sees our heroes racing along in a car down the street he’s going to land in. Years of movie henchmen training kick in and he opens fire on the protagonists, managing to fracture their windshield so all the POV shots in the coming car chase will be even more incomprehensible. Then he lands in the middle of the street, allowing them to run over him. “Shit,” he thinks, “why didn’t I use my toggles to land six feet to the right? Was I really in that much of a rush to slaughter white flesh that I didn’t see that even if I shot everyone in the vehicle, it would still kill me when I landed right in front of it?”
9. The final climactic clash between good and evil is won when Thor, his superpower of being the size of a small planet useless in the face of Cho’s… unwavering belief in himself?, happens to find a box belonging to his dead dad which contains a gun. This box has not been alluded to or shown throughout the entire movie. I guess the filmmakers just thought it was common knowledge that in police stations, cops keep their guns in small lockboxes under their desks and that these lockboxes are left in place after months of North Korean occupation. “You fucked with the wrong family!” our hero tells Cho being blowing him away, PG-13 style. “I did?” our villain thinks to himself, “I didn’t know, all you people look alike to me.”
10. This movie features my favorite character of 2012. Late in the film, a trio of Marines show up. They are Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the token non-evil Asian guy, and hands down the worst-written soldier ever put to film. Every line out of his mouth is testimony to the screenwriter’s only experience with the military being watching Battle: LA while high on LSD and getting a neck massage from Paula Abdul. “LISTEN UP, MOTARDS, WE ARE UP SHIT’S CREEK WITH A SHIT-PADDLE! OUR SHIT GUNS ARE RUNNING OUT OF AMMO N SHIT, SO WE GOTTA GET SOME MORE OF THAT SHIT FROM THOSE SHITTY ASIANS! THIS IS A PG-13 MOVIE AND THE ONLY SWEAR WORD I’M ALLOWED TO USE IS SHIT, MOTARDS! MOTARDS DOESN’T COUNT, I MADE THAT UP AS A NAME FOR MY TESTICLES AND JUST LIKED THE SOUND OF IT! HOO-RAH!”