In 1984, the year Orwell prophesied doom, writer-director John Milius took the Cold War to its barely logical conclusion for Red Dawn, imagining a Third World War where parachuting Soviets invaded the US mainland and might have triumphed, were it not for a plucky band of American freedom fighters. In this silly and largely pointless remake, the enemy may have changed, but the same fatuous paranoia, flag-fluttering patriotism, and flimsy grip on international politics remains.
Just as Soviet Russia was a handy baddie in the '80s – mysterious, aloof, faceless – so North Korea apparently is today. A right-wing fantasy writ large, the premise would be intriguing if it wasn’t so patently absurd. There’s competent action from first-time director Dan Bradley and the cast, led by Chris Hemsworth, are fine. But it remains an entirely ludicrous ninety minutes, jingoistically guileless in depicting an American insurgency fighting back against an invading foreign army – in reality, of course, it tends to be the other way around. [John Nugent]