A movie expected to be a hard-core remake of the original communism-bashing “Red Dawn” of two decades back – where Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze staged a shoot-’em-up against invading Russians in the Colorado mountains – now is being met not with amusement at the entertainment but condemnation because it isn’t “correct.”
The invaders this time are Chinese.
“Later this year, America’s dream factory will foist upon an already blooded-up America a remake of 1984’s ‘Red Dawn.’ It’s probably the most unnecessary, irresponsible, Sinophobic film in America’s history, and that’s saying a lot,” wrote a commentary at The Awl, a New York-based website that boasts of its discussions on “the issues of the day.”
“In it, the Chinese invade and subjugate Americans to pinko commie rule all under the guise of ‘helping’ the nation that has become too irresponsible to take care of itself. It is a paranoia tale of an America where our children no longer get stupid Chinese character tattoos because they want to; they get them because they have to. It’s basically porn for survivalist militia types who believe it is ‘real’ scenarios like that that justify everything from the sale of assault rifles to electing nationalist fear-mongers.”
Scene from coming remake of “Red Dawn.”
The original “Red Dawn” focused on freedom’s victory over communism and featured the up-and-comers Swayze and Co. as a resistance group made up of highschoolers fighting back the oppressive Soviet Union. According to Jason Apuzzo at Libertas Film Magazine, the team members “fight the Russkies in the Colorado hills, kick a lot of commie-Spetsnaz ass, and otherwise shout ‘Wolverines!'”
“Hollywood doesn’t do this sort of thing. This isn’t the 1980s anymore. Wake up! This is the era of ‘Avatar,’ of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ of Sean Penn hanging with the mullahs in Iran. The communist Chinese aren’t our enemy – they’re our friends! They make our TVs and T-shirts and disposable ink cartridges. Our real enemies are American corporations, environmental polluters, and all those blonde chicks on Fox News,” he wrote.
The London Guardian reports that some of the images in the movie include, “Helping You Back On Your Feet,” showing a Chinese hand reaching down to an American hand. Another is “Rebuilding Your Reputation.”
A communist star is imposed over an image of the United States with a large crack down the center.
Poster from coming remake of “Red Dawn.”
“The original ‘Red Dawn,’ written by John Milius … was a huge hit on its release in 1984,” the Guardian report said. ‘Its hyper-patriotism and depiction of ordinary American teenagers fighting off the ‘red menace’ chimed with the mood of Ronald Reagan’s America. … The new ‘Red Dawn’ is expected the follow in those cultural footsteps, albeit with a different enemy and reflecting … America’s fears over economic decline.”
The movie has a twist that may offend some: “Collaborators” within the country who work with the Chinese. Apuzzo also cited the posters from the movie’s work.
“Is it just me, or is there something distinctly Obama-esque about these posters? What these posters reveal is that the ‘Red Dawn’ remake may actually go where the original film did not go (largely due to the fact that the original was made during the Reagan Administration), which is in equating certain tendencies in contemporary American liberalism with Chinese-style communism (!),” he wrote.
“That would be an extraordinary thing for a Hollywood studio to do nowadays,” he said.
Reported the Guardian, “Perhaps the strongest symbol of America’s decline and China’s rise in the ‘Red Dawn’ remake does not come from the movie’s sets or script or even its plot. It comes from the fact that much of the movie was shot in and around the battered industrial city of Detroit. The city’s emptying streets and many abandoned factories were seen as the perfect real-life backdrop for the city’s war scenes.”
The new movie, projected for a $75 million budget, is to star Tom Cruise’s son and feature music from Toby Keith.
Apuzzo reported it now is in post-production.
“The new ‘Red Dawn’ looks to be one of the most intensely anti-communist films since ‘My Son John’ from 1952. Yet it’s set in the world of today,” he said.
According to the Daily Finance fixture on AOL, the plot is:
Set against the backdrop of contemporary politics, the film begins with an American withdrawal from Iraq. The president decides to redeploy troops to Taiwan, where escalating Chinese militarism is threatening America’s ally. At the same time, he also welcomes the former Soviet republic of Georgia into NATO, unleashing Russian worries that America is spreading its sphere of influence deep into Eastern Europe. Having destabilized relations with two of the world’s largest powers, the president then claims that the U.S. is only partly to blame for a global economic meltdown, further escalating tensions with China and ultimately leading to the invasion of the Pacific Northwest.
According to the report, the movie already is causing ripples in China.
“In the past week Beijing’s largest paper, The Global Times, ran two editorials on the film, proclaiming, ‘U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China,’ and ‘American movie plants hostile seeds against China.'”
The Awl noted the movie will come “just in time for midterm elections already foul with the tea party’s red-white-and-blue jingoism.”
The commentary continued, “Even worse, it’s just another in a long, tired, example of how America’s thinking about China has not progressed past Rohmer’s ‘Fu Manchu.'”
Blog participants were outraged at the theme of fighting against communism:
“I just am dismayed when films pander to people’s fears and prejudices. The audience for this is the same(ish) as for ‘The Passion,'” said one.
“I’m sure that plenty of kooks and knuckledraggers will get all excited by the flag-waving and the jingoism for about five minutes, but … they’ll have forgotten about it completely in a month,” said another.
According to the movie’s own MGM website, the plot develops when “an American city awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerrilla group of fighters.”
A YouTube video reveals some of the work: