The original “Red Dawn” hardly won over film critics, and understandably so.
It’s considered a cult classic today, but “Red Dawn” served up plenty of cheese along with its stirring story of young Americans battling against a Communist invasion. The film’s critical drubbing was about more than just storytelling hiccups, says National Review contributor John J. Miller.
“Better dead than Red Dawn,” sneered the Washington Post’s Rita Kempley, who called the film “sick and silly.” Janet Maslin of the New York Times labeled it “rabidly inflammatory,” “incorrigibly gung-ho,” and “a virulently alarmist fable.” Bob Thomas of the Associated Press condemned its “bathos” as “unrelenting.” Perhaps these were the honest assessments of dispassionate reviewers….
The makers of Red Dawn, complained Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, “spent too much time playing to the rabid anti-Commies.” You know: The movie must be awful because those icky conservatives approve of it. Even today, many liberals resort to knee-jerk denunciations: “Its guiding ideology is actually fascism,” wrote David Plotz of Slate in 2008.
That was then. This is the response the “Red Dawn” remake is getting from movie critics.
The Chicago Reader calls it a “Tea Party wet dream.” Time Magazine says “both movies play like hokey advertisements for the National Rifle Association, injected with high school pep rally enthusiasm.”