Friday, April 2, 2010

Seriously? A "Red Dawn" Remake?

In the years I call "Grad School Part 1" I wrote a paper about how the teen films of the 1980s were full of anti-communist propaganda. My point was based off Susan Jefford's book Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era. In her piece Jeffords talks about how masculinity in Hollywood films of the 1980s was unusually macho - think Rambo, Rocky, Arnold Schwarzenegger's work, the Die Hard franchise, Top Gun, etc. - and that these films were a direct response to the political climate of the time. In the 1980s there was a cultural backlash going on against what was seen as the "soft" 1970s; where president Jimmy Carter was seen praying with the families of hostage victims in Iran instead of kicking some ass. Ronald Reagan himself was seen as somewhat of a cowboy figure, riding in on his horse to save the day. Sounds familiar...

In the midst of all this macho manliness came the ultimate Boy Scout wet dream of a film Red Dawn (1984). In it every communist nation (beside China) invades the U.S. and it is up to a bunch of high schoolers who have magically escaped to the mountains in the nick of time to save us. They fight using the skills they have inherited from fishing and camping with their fathers against the evil commie invaders. The Wolverines, as they call themselves, pissed off at the invasion of their country launch guerrilla warfare on their invaders; including creating improvised explosive devices (I.E.D.s) and going on suicide bombing missions when it looks like there is no hope. Sound familiar....

While there are some interesting real-world parallels going on here, the end result was one heck of a cheesy teen flick.

So why we feel to re-make Red Dawn is beyond me. And why Hollywood has decided that China is now the only invading country is way, way beyond me. In the first Red Dawn China is the only country that doesn't participate in the massive US takeover. It is because in the real 1980s we had good trade relations with China. Interestingly, we still have good trade relations with China. So what would motivate them to invade us now? Even in a fictional sense? Well, as my colleague Kris stated, "Maybe they want all their money back." It is possible. We do owe them more than 770 billion dollars. So, in some ways, I hope that the new Red Dawn addresses this issue. Otherwise, it will just be another 1980s remake that should have never been rehashed.

Although I am not a fan of Rob Schneider, I would much rather see the film based on this fake film preview from!

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