EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 24, 2012

'Red Dawn' comes across like a dangerous joke


Things also explode and eventually the movie just becomes a dizzying assault of gratuitous sights and sounds.

Perhaps if the dialogue were a bit snappier or the actors a bit more believable, the movie could have carried itself on the decent personalities of its cast.

“Thor’s” Chris Hemsworth leads the group as the archetypal “returned marine,” who is often seen clenching his fists and staring off meditatively into the distance.

Josh Peck (Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh,” “The Wackness”) plays his younger brother in a role that turns out to be one of the saddest characters placed on screen this year. It’s just too bad that Peck can’t seem to sell the material for a second.

Rounding out the cast is Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”), Adrianne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”), and Connor Cruise (uh…he’s the adopted son of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise). B-listed in cast and brainless in plot, the movie seems far more appropriate to bargain shelves than theater screens.

Especially in times like these, a stupid movie like “Red Dawn” could give anyone the wrong idea. The movie’s fist-pumping American attitude is showcased in its ridiculously over-the-top final shot, but it doesn’t deserve the patriotism it means to inspire.

Perhaps a more interesting movie could have handled this material better. “Red Dawn” simply comes off as a very dangerous joke.

Red Dawn 1 1/2 out of 4 Stars

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