Red Dawn

Dir: John Milius
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, C.Thomas Howell

Truly a product of its time, this film reflects an era when World War III was an ever-present possibility, with Ronnie on The Button (Remember his "We start bombing in five minutes" little jape?). Here, after the collapse of NATO, Soviet and Cuban forces invade the mid-West, only for a rag-tag gang of high-school kids to form a resistance group and...well, you can probably guess the rest, since few movies directed by John Milius ever possess many shades of grey. This is almost up there with Fast Times for "before they were famous" entrants - or in Swayze's case, before they were immensely irritating and overpaid. Condemned by one parents' group as the most violent film of the year (and the first recipient of a PG-13 rating in the States), it seems tame by modern standards. As an action-adventure film, it's well enough executed, even if the mindset needed to make the concept the least bit plausible is now, fortunately, a thing of the past. But the furore the very idea caused upon the film's release in 1984, is echoed greatly in recent events. The best part of two decades later, if it doesn't happen in America to Americans, it still doesn't happen, pretty much.


With fronds like these,
who needs enemies?
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