Sunday, August 18, 2013

Red Dawn Redux

Last night, I watched both Red Dawn 1.0 and 2.0 as they were back to back on my sat dish.  I just had to watch to compare and contrast.  Oh, and live tweet it.  I had seen the first when it came out in 1984 at the peak of the second Cold War.  2.0 came out this year and I refused to see it--the idea of North Korea invading the US?  Oy.  But I understand that the switch from China as adversary to NK was made because China has a huge box office potential and North Korea's is just a tad smaller.


It was a much closer call than expected. So, we must turn to a systematic comparison of the aspects of the movies:

Red Dawn 1.0 Red Dawn 2.0 Winner
Premise Domino Theory Run Amok Um, huh? 1.0
Pre-History Scroll Yellow Text Current history (Obama, Biden, HRClinton) plus 2.0
Intentional Comedy Not Much Some 2.0
Unintentional Comedy Max Mostly NK Sub for China 1.0
Romance None, although Lea crushes on Powers Booth Younger bro obsesses  about gf, Thor almost kisses Tyra 2.0
Right Wing Fantasy Pry Gun From Cold Dead Hands, Bad Guys Use Registration Lists US crushed by Electromagnetic Pulse Tie
Heartland vs Coasts? Soviets/Cubans invade heartland; US holds coasts North Koreans take coasts; Free America in the heartland 1.0
Europe Super-weenies Absent 1.0
China Ally! Absent! A wash
Nukes Soviets use them No one nukes Um….
Leader Dalton Thor Too close to call
Strategies and Tactics Innovate Immitate 1.0 1.0
Biggest Failure Um, helos?  Ok, just listen Brother chases lame girl, messes up ambush Oy
Bad Guys Differentiated: Semi-sympatheic Cuban vs rest All Are the Same 1.0
Drinking Deer Blood Serious Prank 2.0
Effect of Deer Blood Howell becomes sociopath Josh H becomes braver 1.0
Dead Dad Harry Dean Stanton, quite crazy The Other from Lost (Brett Cullen) 1.0, No contest
Brothers True love, uncomplicated Rivalry then respect 2.0
Brotherly Acting Awful (Charlie Sheen is awful in this movie) Awful (Josh Peck is going to be a star?!) Tie
Lea Thompson Yes No 1.0
Badass Females LT , Jennifer Grey with Big Machine Guns, many times Adrienne Palicki, Isabel Lucas with RPGs once 1.0
Ending Only Lea and token boy live, Lea narrates conclusion Most live, whiny brother makes same speech as Thor to recruit 1.0 (plagiarism is not ok, even for brothers)
Entertainment value (counts 2x) Nostalgia Better movie (dialogue, characterization, acting) 2.0

So RD 1.0 wins despite RD 2.0 having more entertainment value.  That makes no sense, but neither did either movie.  It was pretty damn close, but the power of Lea turns the tide.  A friend on facebook asked me which I would recommend, so I would suggest The World's End.

Actually, I would have to say 1.0 because of a few key factors--we get to see some actors when they are very young and yet not Outsiders; the Cold War context makes this heaps of fun; and the unintentional comedy is just incredible.  Oh, and the Cubans come off pretty well.  The ChineseNorth Koreans?  Not so much.


Mrs. Spew said...

Oh come on, RD 2.0 had to have better dialogue. Did they have the no crying scene?

Steve Saideman said...

There is no crying in WWIII was a RD1 but RD2 kind of thing.