‘Red Dawn’ Trailer: More All-American Action, Less Drama

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2012 at 2:58 pm,

The trailer for the long-delayed Red Dawn remake is here, and it immediately establishes a different tone from that of the 1984 original. Outlined with some young faces that have since risen to stardom – Chris Hemsworth (Thor 2/Avengers), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe 2), Isabel Lucas (Transformers 2) – and others about to break into stardom – Josh Peck (ATM), and Tom Cruise’s adopted son, Connor Cruise – Red Dawn (2012) looks like a gritty, high-octane, action-over-substance re-imagining of the ’80s version.

For those unfamiliar, Red Dawn (1984) told the story of high school teens living in a small Colorado town that is, without warning, overrun by an invading army. With their parents and guardians all trapped in internment camps (or worse), a group of teens (led by Pactrick Swayze’s character, Jed Eckert) abscond into the woods and form a rebel group called “The Wolverines,” named after their high school mascot.

The Soviet threat has been updated for the remake; the new Wolverines will face the threat of a North Korean strike force. As you can see in the trailer, Red Dawn could be well worth the wait – at least, for action fans. Stunt coordinator Dan Bradley will be making his directorial debut with this remake, but his resume (Bourne 2, 3 & 4; Spider-Man 2 & 3) is perfect explanation for the abundance of action sequences, gunfire, and explosions glimpsed in that trailer.


Red Dawn 2012 Poster 570x844 Red Dawn Trailer: More All American Action, Less Drama

While the new Red Dawn could indeed stand to improve the action quotient of the original, the ’84 version was also bolstered by some great character arcs and drama delivered by actors like Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and Lea Thompson – not to mention Superfly himself, Ron O’Neal, as the nefarious Colonel Ernest Bella. Does this new cast have the acting chops to convey the hardship of war and freedom-fighting, as shouldered by teens? Hemsworth and Hutcherson have proven they do – the others…

Like the recent Total Recall remake, there’s a chance that what we’ll get with Red Dawn is another bang and flash special effects adrenaline rush, which (while superficially enjoyable) is totally devoid of the essence of what made the original so enjoyable in the first place. Of course, for some, hearing Thor proclaim that youngsters must fight for their freedom will be rousing enough to make the over-the-top action even more effective and worthwhile.

Red Dawn will finally be in theaters on November 21, 2012.

TAGS: Red dawn
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  1. Hard to believe this movie was filmed in 2009 might get a Chris Hemsworth/Avengers bump now, I feel like Team Americas theme song would’ve been suited for this trailer…

    • The Team America theme seems appropriate, but hey using a Filter song from the 90’s for a remake of an 80’s movie that looks like it could give some WW II propaganda films a run for it’s money just adds to the nostalgia.

      It’s also funny that during a time when some people in America are calling for less guns and violent imagery in movies that they release a film with high school kids playing insurgents. At least people have enough sense that they can separate fantasy from reality, most of the time….

  2. Man, it looks pretty awful, perhaps it’s just the trailer but it doesn’t look like it’ll meet the expectations of those who have seen the original.

  3. Looks like it’ll be an “action flick” hollywood style and nothing more. I think it’ll miss the mark set by the first by a long shot.

    • I agree. This looks like a cheap imitation to me, with money spent on more explosions.

  4. Looks pretty kool, i bet the Chinese won’t be happy about being the New Bad Guys in this one,lol…
    Tho tbh this type of event is almost impossible to pull off in this day and age but still might be fun to watch…

    • Considering it’s the North Koreans and NOT the Chinese invading, I think the Chinese will be okay with it…

      • The movie initially was China but then with some Chinese negative feedback (ie, we won’t let you distribute anymore movies in our country if you release this) MGM digitally changed and removed all traces of China and superimposed North Korea in it’s place.

        • It’s not just the North Koreans, it’s a coalition. North Korea,Russia and China. North Korea gets the most screen time though. Russians are shown as well. China not so much since it’s all been “redone” Maybe a vague mention. But they have to be involved for any type of fictional invasion like this to take place. Otherwise it is just wishful thinking. If Russia,China,North Korea were to try an invasion like this, they would use EMP type weapons,computer viruses etc to knock out power grid, defense grid, satellites, possibly tactical nukes(like in the original Red Dawn, they hit Washington,Omaha etc) But again all this is just hypothetical. But never be overconfident to the point of thinking it couldn’t happen. WOLVERINES!!!!!!

      • idk.. Dale may be on to something. This could be retribution from losing Olympic medal count race..

  5. Sigh. Every remake looks worse the older I get. As an aside, the original one was set in Calumet, Colorado, not Michigan. They waited far too long to release it, so it looks dated and too much of an apology film for the overseas market. Plus the North Koreans couldn’t deploy enough airborne troops to take any large part of the US, now that they sidelined the Chinese into being the supporting force.

    • North Korea has an army of over 1 million i’am sure that could do some damage and it doesn’t take place in Michigan its set in Tacoma much more sense then 2000 km inland

      • They also have an utterly pathetic sea- and air-lift capability. Numbers don’t mean anything when it comes to making a cross-Pacific Ocean invasion. Logistics do.

  6. just another remake…it looks pretty good though

  7. If you go into watching a remake and try and compare it to the original your going to be disappointed while this one looks okay it does seem to have its faults but I am going to see it for the fun of it rather its good or not and I am a big fan of the original remake Red Dawn

    • original Red dawn I mean

    • What did you say??? Go see a movie for fun and try to enjoy it? pish posh. You have to nitpick and compare to the original along with current events making sure you mention how dark it is… (dark is still the in right?)

      I kid bob but believe it or not I go to the movies for the same thing…. just try to enjoy it people.

  8. I would like to know since when does the North Koreans use Humvees and M-1 Abrams??? You would have me believe that they and the Chinese would come all this way and not bring their own equipment? Instead they just use what they can capture? Just plain stupid if you ask me….I am not even going to go into to the whole North Korean fantasy….

  9. Being between the age of 19 and 23, I cannot recall watching the first one while I was younger although it does sound familiar. I will watch the remake soon to get a better idea whats in store, or maybe I will watch after this movie so I will not be comparing while watching the film–haven’t decided yet.

    From the trailer itself its seems like another standard action fest but with an interesting premise as its a team of teens/young adults who would fight against their would be supressors. The premise of an invading army attacking on U.S. soil could be used well in examining social and idealogical make up of the modern younger generations of American without getting to political. However I wonder how much will the action overcome this potential in plot by the time the film reaches theaters?

    It is similar problem I faced when watching “Battleship”. The film itself seemed to be another Transformers-like film with emphasis on cgi and action than actual story. When I got around in seeing the film I was suprised that the characters and much of plot was handeled better than its Transformers counterpart. However the end product focus more on tapping the transformers crowd rather than putting emphasis on the themes of America(and the world) compared to previous generation and its slightly better characters.

    This film may focus more on the action set up of teens vs army in small town usa than the story that seemingly made the first one memorable but in a new modern context that juxtaposes how the world views America, how the older generations view it new generation, and ultimately how the modern young American feel about his country, generation in the context of today’s social and political climate. I will love to see if new trailers or the film can offer both the action and a story that is relevant while not being concerned of setting up big action set ups and/or be overly political in its message.

    The cast itself will have to prove itself both in terms of the individual actors and as an ensemble feature. Chris Hemsworth will certainly draw in the crowds and should be reliable on his role. I generally like some of the actors but through other genres and tv series so I am not sure how some will fit in this what seems to be action- over substance film (sad face)

  10. When they re-edited this film, Tripp Vinson made the statement that the changes would not eliminate all references to China, but give North Korea a larger role(most of the screentime) in the coalition that invades the USA. The coalition is North Korea,China,Russia. In the film the story is about the WOLVERINES fighting against the North Korean contingent that has invaded and occupies their state+town. Other parts of the US have been invaded as well. In the original script China+Russia invaded both the West and East Coasts of the US. How much of that is changed I don’t know. Im guessing China’s role will be just hinted at. But it’s common sense that North Korea couldn’t invade without the support and help of Red China and the Russian Bear. I do know that Russia’s role in the film will be seen as Spetsnaz aka Russian Special Forces. This film will be great. WOLVERINES!!!!!!! The special weapons they are talking about is EMP Electro Magnetic Pulse Weapons.

  11. josh hutcherson has acting chops?? then why didn’t he use them in the hunger games?

  12. Imho, this is just a bad PR move in general. Back when the original was made we DID have a legitimate threat in the USSR but today we don’t have any real enemies (that could possibly mount an attack on us and succeed). So to cast the Asian countries as the “bad guys” now does nothing but strain already fragile relations with those countries.

    This is one movie that should not have been redone and left as a classic for the era it was made in.

    • Im not from the US tho but this is exactly what I was thinking.

    • That kind of arrogance is always the first step of the downfall. No country is invincible even if they like to believe otherwise.

      • I’m not really interested in turning this into a political platform but my statement was not arrogant. The only “real” enemies the USA has atm are the Middle-Eastern terrorist cells in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc. And while they could most definitely hurt us in a similar fashion to 9/11, they don’t have the ability to mount an occupation as this movie depicts.

        In fact, none of this supposed coalition (China, N. Korea and Russia) are the United States’ “enemy” (although we aren’t exactly friends with them either which was my original point). It’s stupid things like this movie that could inflame any tenuous relations we have with those countries.

        • “It’s stupid things like this movie that could inflame any tenuous relations we have with those countries.”

          You’ve got to be kidding Mongoose.

          • Did not China flip out over being cast as the main bad guys, threatening to pull the movie’s distribution in their country?

            Are we or are we not balancing on the head of a pin with N. Korea, with nearly 30k troops sitting on the 38th parallel with them threatening nuclear testing?

            So why would I be kidding? It’s not like I’m suggesting they will go to war with us over this movie but it most certainly doesn’t help diplomatic relations when we are demonizing their countries to an international audience. (hence using the word “inflame” 😉 )

            • We’ve gone to war before on less.

              • Example please.

                • I was being a little facetious with the comment but a few examples could be argued: WWI was started w/the assassination Ferdinand. Korean War was in response to Communism and no actual just cause. Vietnam War could be argued the same as the Korean War. Spanish American War. Recently it could be argued about Iraqi Freedom though I am hesitant to mention it because it’s still going on. The American Revolution started over being taxed.

                  So those are a few examples off the top of my head. Most wars that are fought between countries or people are really started over something so small. The feud between the Hatfields and McCoys was started over a stolen pig or escalated over a pig.

                  But again, I was being more facetious than serious.

                  • I would argue those reasons are not “less” than a movie. Just sayin.

            • @mongoose

              Wait, diplomatic relations with North Korea… I’m so confused, are we talking about the same North Korea??

              • What are you confused about?

  13. I thought it was interesting to find that today (8/10) is the anniversary of the first Red Dawn’s release. :-)

  14. Being in a high school not far from where this was filmed a bunch of people was only talking about one thing and one thing only “There going to blow up a house near by! That is so cool!” Now that it wound up showing that house being blown up… I have no need to see this movie.

  15. josh hutcherson has acting chops?? then why didn’t he use them in the hunger games?

    Unfortunately, his character was massively neutralized in the adaptation from book to script. I place that blame on the screenwriters — author and director, though they were — not the actor.

    • i blame the author for writing such a cheesy derivative teen romance drama hidden inside a s***** action rip off. i blame the screenwriters for indeed completely neutering what was actually there in the source material. i blame the director for shooting a flat, tensionless narrative devoid of emotion or competent action direction. i blame the actors for giving flat, unengaging performances ( didn’t even know that was possible for woody harrelson). i blame the studio executives who thought it was the next harry potter. i blame the public for eating up such a turd. it really sucked. hutcherson was one of the worst parts. and yes the screenplay jettisoned literally everything enjoyable about the book.

  16. I like it. It reminds me of a zombie movie. The whole reason we love zombie movies is because we imagine “what if it were me”. Its an interesting thing to imagine, if a nation invaded, what would you, as a person, do? It takes that idea and makes an action movie out of it. I think its a really cool topic and there arnt many movies that use the idea.

    Even the original we too caught up in its own drama to seem realistic or exciting. I thought the original was just ok. This one at least looks like it could be a fun action movie

  17. Everything’s better with a little Filter playing in the background.

  18. The whole North Korean thing bugs me, China made more sense. Because their hatred towards the U.S is pretty legit. (Opinion based on my studdy abroad trip to China I took.) Buuuuuuuuuut…. we’ll see what happens. I hated the original, hopefully this one will be better?


    Low expectations for this one. *shrugs*

  19. This will be a rental for me.
    Growing up in my neighborhood the original was a big hit will all the boys and even the girls. We lived next to a High School and there was a lot of woods around it so we would always be outside defending the school against the oncoming attack. :)
    I haven’t watched the movie in years though so I wonder if it’s as good as I thought it was back then?

    • /takes notes…….

      BIG ALF fan and played, “Red Dawn” as a kid.

      Interesting, very interesting.

      • I think Kevin has a stalker.

        /takes notes……..

        • haha, stalker, yeah…..

          /opens a new file on INK.

          • Crap. How many files am I up to now? :)

            • o.O

              /walks to file cabinet

              *rustling of papers can be heard*

              Well lookie there, we DO have an old case file on you. Thanks for the heads up! 😀

              /adds new info to old file.

              • Me and my big mouth.

  20. Eh…great. It’s not about survival, or revenge. Nope, now we’re fighting for freedom, freedom, freedom…blah, blah, blah…

    I’m just surprised Michael Bay didn’t jump on board as director.

    • Yeah, freedom is SO overrated.


    • “freedom, freedom, freedom…blah, blah, blah…”

      You are correct. Blah, blah until it is gone.

      • It’s cliche, it’s bland, all to make out protagonists seem more so g****** noble in comparison, and, based on the trailer, this whole ‘freedom’ throwaround is going to be so overplayed, it’s disgusting.

        • We should fight for the 99% against the evil 1% instead! Yah!

        • Sad.

        • Right. Freedom is “disgusting”… Wow.

          • Herein lies my problem with this trailer and the subject of ‘freedom': plenty of films had protagonists that fought for said freedom, but often these heroes are often the vocal mouthpiece representing a group that have been shown as repressed group harassed and truly living under a tyrannical thumb to validate their cause. As in the case of the Red Dawn reboot, basing off what I’ve seen, this trailer loves to sell on the notion that our ‘freedom’ is what’s really under fire here, and as if the United States is the only country that advocates for such cotton candy patriotic ‘freedom’.

            This isn’t to say the characters can’t have a sense of pride about their homeland, and be willing to put their lives on the line to defend it and the people that live there. Hell, I probably wouldn’t be bent-up about this trailer if it tried to show some humility and changed ‘freedom’ to ‘home’, at least it wouldn’t sound as preachy.

            • Yah, because we all know that the North Korean government gives total freedom to their citizens. What were these movie producers thinking???

  21. I think it looks like a pretty good action flick!

  22. Josh Peck?!?!?! As in Drake and Josh Josh Peck?!?!

    • seriously, watch “The Wackness”

  23. Thomas C. Howell starred in it to just saying.

    • Which character was more menacing than Patrick Swayzes character jed as the movie goes along!

      • His character really transformed as the movie went along. He started off shy and reserved and then become more and more militant/vicious. His death scene taking on three choppers with a bazooka and machine gun was epic.

  24. I don’t think it is a good idea to just automatically assume it will not have any character drama from just this trailer. Of course the first trailer will focus on the action. You have to get everyone’s attention first, then maybe show a little about the drama, or just save it for the movie…

  25. i hope this has grizzly imagery just like the game homefront (of which this story is obviously inspired from) and is violent b/c the original was a terrible… whatever is was trying to be(i wouldn’t class that load of bs as drama or action).

    let’s just hope that this isn’t full of american propaganda b/c i’m pretty sure i speak for everyone out side of the US when i say that we’re sick of US war movies idolising the country and making them seem like god almighty super humans. and yes i hate it when any country tries to idolise itself in a movie.

    • @jwalka

      Um… actually, Homefront’s story was from the same writer as the original Red Dawn, which this movie is also inspired from, so… That would explain the similarities… And sorry you didn’t like the original, just don’t watch this movie or the trailers then. Pretty simple.

      But I don’t see how it “idolised” any country really. A country was invaded, a small group of residents stand up against them and inspire an uprising. Doesn’t exactly say anything about the country itself… Just the human nature of resisting. Unless in your opinion it’s the best thing to just sit down and follow the new regime without any opposition…

      • Perhaps since Hemsworth’s character is playing a Marine the movie will play on the fact that the US military was caught unaware due to the fact they are stationed everywhere else in the world.

        • @Slayer

          Or as the result of a government that supports massive cuts in the budget for the military in favor of increasing welfare benefits and loves to show the world how we only make empty threats…

  26. This could put a strain on international relations?! Wtf it’s just a movie!!

    What is Hollywood supposed to do, put aliens in every film so they don’t offend any other nation?! What about offending aliens? Surely they’re going to be miffed to be constantly portrayed as crazy mass murdering planet robbers, tut tut

    The biggest threat to humanity right now is and always has been religion, watch Red State, prime example!

    • Aliens have also gotten a good wrap in films, too, you know. Also, you would assume that aliens would be miffed if, A) aliens, have been proven to exist, B) that they have enough knowledge about our language and technology to gain access to our collective human filmography, and C) they find our representation of aliens offensive. If anything, if aliens in fact do bother to watch human media, I bet they might be laughing their asses off.

  27. This looks straight to dvd fodder to me. In fact if Hemsworth wasn’t in this then I think it would be. Can’t see this film doing any major business outside the US to be honest.

    I was a fan of the original and remember watching it when I was younger, I also have it on dvd.

    I know this remake was made a good 3 years ago so it will be interesting to see if Hemsworth’s current star power can pull in the crowds.