How can you tell that the remake of Red Dawn has sat on the shelf for a few years, after financial troubles kept MGM unable to distribute it? Because even though the premise — a motley crew of young men and women have to defend their small town after it's invaded by a foreign nation—- allows for it, not a single one of these young patriots appears to be wielding a currently de rigueur bow and arrow. Still, there's plenty here that feels Hunger Games–y, starting with another Hemsworth brother in the lead (Chris, this time) and Josh Hutcherson in the supporting cast, alongside, uh, Connor Cruise! But while The Hunger Games pushes a dystopian view of our country's class-warfare future, Red Dawn feels rah-rah jingoistic, seeing as how it's filled with all those familiar markers — like high school football games, small-town family values, and suspicion of foreigners — that are as ostentatiously American as Chris Hemsworth's accent in this movie.
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What to make of a film like this?