The premise doesn’t seem to have changed much. Whereas in the 1984 version, a group of Midwestern teens including Patrick Swayze and Lea Thompson band together to fight a Soviet invasion. In the 2012 movie, the North Koreans are invading Washington state, and the hunk is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor)… oh, and Josh from Drake and Josh.
It shouldn’t be so surprising that this plot has been done before since it’s an effective way to catch the viewer’s attention – what if war came to your street? Of course, for many people war, sadly, is already in their home town, but not for the American high-schoolers in Red Dawn. It sparked a lively discussion for the teens at our movie night. Was it realistic for 6 or so teenagers to be trained in guerrilla warfare by a recent veteran? Who “deserves” to die, if there is such a thing? Why would the North Koreans invade the U.S. and not Canada? And is Canada part of the U.S. anyway? (In case you were wondering, too: no, it’s not.)
If these situations and questions intrigue you as well, here is some further reading:
The beginning of a series by Australian author John Marsden, this book explores what happens when 7 teenagers get back from a camping trip to find that their town, and presumably country, has been invaded. Do they surrender or fight back?
Daisy thinks she’s getting away from trouble by going to live in England… but then war breaks out and she’s stranded in the countryside with her cousins.
Scarlet is not fighting against an invading force – she’s a vigilante fighting against corrupt policeman who killed her boyfriend. However, this book asks some of the same questions as the others about her personal decisions to commit violent acts.
-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty