“A million thumbs up!”
~A drunken Roger Ebert
Entertainment is always crafted with a certain audience in mind. Joss Whedon creates TV shows and films to cater to feminists and nerds. Michael Bay makes films for people who hate coherent plots but love boobs and bombs. Ever since 2002, M. Night Shyamalan has been making films intended for recent stroke victims.
“Is that my daughter on the television tube?”
However, there is a special subset of films that are occasionally released that the AFFotD staff loves the most. Obviously, these would be movies meant for true Americans. While these movies are often properly lauded, occasionally they slip through the cracks, and instead of sweeping the Oscars get mediocre reviews from critics, despite being badass enough to warrant a “probably won’t be that good” remake.
We’re of course talking about the film Red Dawn, which will be reviewed in today’s issue of…
AFFotD’s Night at the Movies
Red Dawn takes place in a terrifying alternate reality where it is physically possible to invade America. The 2002 film Signs addresses this myth by showing that any invading force becomes deathly allergic to water once they step on American soil, however this was left out of the plot of Red Dawn by placing the film in an alternate version of America, with several political changes as well (such as the exodus of European nations from NATO, a wheat crisis in the Ukraine, and a revolution in Mexico).
The film follows the successful Soviet invasion of America (we know, just bear with us). After the Soviets and Cubans show their evil Commie ways in such ways as killing teachers and making that one guy go all “AVENGE MEEEEEEE,” a group of High School students flee to the woods with weapons (because America) and start a resistance movement (because America).
The movie expands on some very important, American themes, and despite its lukewarm critical reception, we are here to set the record straight. This movie is fucking awesome. It was the first ever movie to be rated PG-13 in American history, which is mainly because at the time it was called the most violent film of all time. To those of you who say that violence is not something inherently American, and that it should be condemned instead of celebrated, we at AFFotD have only this to offer. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself!
Red Dawn featured Patrick Swayze, who actually stayed awesome until his death, Charlie Sheen before he became the first reported case of a man becoming a host to parasitic cocaine, and even Caroline in the City and Jennifer Grey before that nose job torpedoed her career. The film also features Powers Boothe, a man whose name is so gloriously manly and American that it feels like a waste for him to have a profession that requires him pretending he has a different name.
To be honest, there’s no way to really give Red Dawn the credit it is due (at least, without killing a bunch of communists out in the woods). That’s why the government did it for us by naming the hunt for Saddam Hussein “Operation Red Dawn.” Seriously. While we wait in nervous anticipation for the remake (Where the Russian enemy was replaced with China…until producers realized that Chinese people pay to watch movies, so they changed it to North Korea in the totally-not-at-all-racist mindset of “close enough”) we can at least take solace in knowing that nothing can change the original Red Dawn from what it is and what it always will be. An American relic.