FF16 - Red Dawn (2011)

Intro by John Roderick

After running countless scenarios of possible invasions of the continental United States, military strategists have repeatedly concluded our most vulnerable point is the booming Eastern Washington city of Spokane. From there it's quick work to dispatch the industrial powerhouses and population centers of the Idaho panhandle and Eastern Oregon, and gain control of the strategically crucial Missoula, Montana.

It is with this premise that studio executives from MGM made one of the weirdest misallocations of resources in the history of American cinema: Starring one of the Hemsworth brothers, several guys named Josh and Adrianne Palicki, today's film follows a culturally diverse group of underwear models as they defend their homeland from an invading… wait for it!… North Korean army, mainly because Chinese soldiers would have negatively impacted the film's overseas box office prospects.

The former resistance cell [is] putting their football-honed team building exercises and their sandwich-ingredient-theft-skills to work. Harassing the invaders and extracting violent revenge for the deaths of their families, they enact fantasy resistance to foreign tyranny at the heart of so many recent NRA fundraising campaigns. These are the patriotic freedom fighters that the current generation of Nintendo-raised Open-Carry-Ding-Dongs imagine themselves to be.

The film is a craven effort by a studio to bleed a once exciting concept for new profit without really bothering to reflect upon nor update what appealed to people about the source material 26 years prior. It somehow glorifies American kids acting as freedom fighters, while those same kids in real life would be sent to Afghanistan to combat kids over there ostensibly doing the same thing. It is just that incomprehensible all the way through.

The film was originally shot with the bad guys being the People's Liberation Army of China, but it sat on the shelf for nearly two years while it was sanitized of any negativity toward China using digital manipulation and reshoots and was released in 2011 to a justifiably totally indifferent movie-going public. We're hoping we can trick you into drinking the blood of this movie! Today on Friendly Fire: Red Dawn, the more recent one.

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