Did you hear? Kaos Studios' first person shooter experience, Homefront, is going to be a movie! Really! Check out the trailer here:
Okay, I wasn't truthful with you. Yeah, the above trailer is from the remake of Red Dawn. Funny thing is, this might as well be the movie version of Homefront as the two plots are identical! Check out the Homefront trailer:
Yeah, try and tell me the Red Dawn remake isn't Homefront in disguise....
Even their plot descriptions are nearly identical:
From IMDb's Red Dawn (2012) page:
From IMDb's Red Dawn (2012) page:
A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.
From Homefront's Wikipedia page:
Homefront is a first-person shooter video game...in which players play as members of a resistance movement fighting against a near-future Korean military occupation of the United States.
LOL! You can't make this up!
Originally, the Red Dawn remake was supposed to involve a ChiCom invasion of America (edit: somebody just reminded me that this was true for Homeland, as well), which, while not necessarily completely credible, it is at least a topic of some interest as of late (here & here & here). However, by switching from the Chicoms to the November Kilos, a move reputedly related to concerns about the overseas distribution of the film (don't want to tick off the massive Chinese audience, albeit, they'll probably just pirate it anyway), any chance of this movie catching the the spirit of the original is now hopelessly lost. Instead, we will just get another action movie built upon a completely preposterous base, sort of like Lockout (I did enjoy it, though!). What a shame. If the producers were that worried about offending the ChiComs, why not just refrain from giving the invaders a specific nationality, sort of like George Chesney's excellent but forgotten invasion story, The Battle of Dorking? I mean, the audience would be able to put 2+2 together once soldiers with epicanthal folds start falling from the sky.
Still, I think we have turned a corner here. Once upon a time, game developers used movies for their inspiration, now it appears that movies are using games for their inspiration, even if they continue to deny it. In the case of Red Dawn 2012, the proof is clear as far as I am concerned.
I am hoping that there will be some redeeming quality to this film, though. Red Dawn was my absolute favorite movie as a kid, and remains so today. Just looking at the awesome poster for the film gives me a thrill:
Like director John Milius, I found the thought of being forced to take of arms and live in the woods, only emerging now and then to ambush some Ruskies, to be a fascinating daydream. Fortunately for this stupid kid, I didn't have to actually experience the hellish reality of the four Bielski brothers.
While I was thrilled by the movie - and still am - a lot of "fellow travelers" were outraged by the flick. I guess I could understand their angst. I mean, when did the Soviets ever forcibly invade another country (here, here, here, & almost here, for a start)? Still, I recall my pinko public school social studies teacher (by "pinko" I am referring to his nasty habit of wearing pink sweaters) railing about how silly this movie was.
Even today, Soviet sympathizers, who no doubt secretly lament the fall of the USSR and its worker's paradise, cannot resist the urge to jump out of their seats and shout down the movie whenever it is mentioned, something you probably already noticed just by reading comments concerning the original Red Dawn and its remake on various websites. I have to laugh in particular when this crowd calls the movie "unrealistic" and "impossible". For starters, I think that is what people said about Hector Charles Bywater's The Great Pacific War. But even beyond the difficulty of accurately seeing just what is possible in this unpredictable world, this is the same crowd that continues to champion such wildly inaccurate films as An Inconvenient Truth, a Flat Earther, Global Warmist propaganda piece that actually lost a court case on its truthfulness.
What is more, I've always considered the premise of Red Dawn to be not entirely crazy. Remember the set-up at the beginning of the film?
Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years.Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade.Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall.Green Party gains control of West German parliament and demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European Soil.Mexico plunged into revolution.NATO dissolves. United States stands alone.
As you can see from the included links, the events that precipitated the Soviet invasion of America are hardly unthinkable...then or now.
But what about the invasion itself? Well, "Eagle driver" Col. Andy Tanner, played by the always compelling Powers Boothe, describes a scenario that is, again, not entirely far-fetched:
Col. Andy Tanner: [Describing the invasion] West Coast. East Coast. Down here is Mexico. First wave of the attack came in disguised as commercial charter flights same way they did in Afghanistan in '80. Only they were crack Airborne outfits. Now they took these passes in the Rockies.
Jed Eckert: So that's what hit Calumet.
Col. Andy Tanner: I guess so. They coordinated with selective nuke strikes and the missiles were a helluva lot more accurate than we thought. They took out the silos here in the Dakotas, key points of communication.
Darryl Bates: Like what?
Col. Andy Tanner: Oh, like Omaha, Washington, Kansas City.
Darryl Bates: Gone?
Col. Andy Tanner: Yeah. That's right. Infiltrators came up illegal from Mexico. Cubans mostly. They managed to infiltrate SAC bases in the Midwest, several down in Texas and wreaked a helluva lot of havoc, I'm here to tell you. They opened up the door down here, and the whole Cuban & Nicaraguan armies come walking right through, rolled right up here through the Great Plains.
Robert: How far did they get?
Col. Andy Tanner: Cheyenne, across to Kansas. We held them at the Rockies and the Mississippi. Anyway, the Russians reinforced with 60 divisions. Sent three whole army groups across the Bering Strait into Alaska, cut the pipeline, came across Canada to link up here in the middle, but we stopped their butt cold. The lines have pretty much stabilized now.
Robert: What about Europe?
Col. Andy Tanner: I guess they figured twice in one century was enough. They're sitting this one out. All except England, and they won't last very long.
Again, not unthinkable. Unlikely in the extreme perhaps, but not unthinkable. Let me put it this way: what if Milius made a film in 1984 that instead described a highly unlikely attack by a handful of amateur Islamic fanatics who bumbled their way across the nation, and through layers of airport security, and successfully launched a surprise attack that resulted in 3000 US deaths, a changed NYC skyline, and the longest war in US history? Not too likely on the surface, but here we are....
The unthinkable only remains unthinkable...until someone does it. This is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn in the realm of politics, be it international or national.
So, all things considered, the scenario laid out by Tanner is not some wild-eyed invasion from Mars. At a minimum, it certainly has more of a historical basis than anything Al Gore has come up with recently. At a maximum, it might have even been a possibility if, say, Jimmy Carter received a second term in office (yeah, he really was that bad, albeit, Obama is giving him a run for his money). It is also worth remembering that even in Milius' version of the attack, the Soviets were forced to retreat after just a handful of months - again, not an unreasonable assumption when one considers the difficulty of such a continental invasion.
BTW: anybody want to take a bet that the reference to "infiltrators" coming up as "illegal[s] from Mexico" will be expunged from the remake? Can't have that in these PC times, can we?
Regardless of the exact feasibility of a Soviet invasion of America, the strength of Red Dawn was in its ability to boldly tap into the zeitgeist of the Cold War - perhaps too close to the mark based on fellow traveler reactions, then and now. Red Dawn wasn't made to be a military documentary, rather, like H. G. Wells' seminal War of the Worlds, it was meant as a cautionary tale about dangerous political times, something lost on sympathetic Marxists who, to this day, believe the USSR was little more than a cuddle buddy.
Unfortunately, with the switch from China to North Korea, it is clear that this Red Dawn remake is too afraid of its own shadow to match the emotional impact of the original by willingly becoming a metaphor for 21st Century anxieties. And that is a shame.
Still, we will always have the original to enjoy and with which we can torture our Leftist friends long after this remake is forgotten and in the bargain DVD bin. And who knows, maybe even Homefront will make a comeback as a F2P shooter? Anything is possible....
[Hmm, seems strangely satisfying to write that in Obama's America.]