Red Dawn is a 2012 American war film directed by Dan Bradley. The screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore is based on the 1984 film of the same name. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film centers on a group of young people who defend their hometown from a North Korean invasion.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced its intention to remake Red Dawn in May 2008 and subsequently hired Bradley and Ellsworth. The principal characters were cast the following year and the film went into production in September 2009 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Originally scheduled to be released on November 24, 2010, the film was shelved due to MGM's financial troubles. While in post-production, the invading army and antagonists was changed from Chinese to North Korean including Chinese symbols to North Korean in order to maintain access to China's box office. FilmDistrict bought the U.S. distribution rights in September 2011 and the film was released in the United States on November 21, 2012.
An introductory montage shows the fallout of the economic crisis in the European Union and a weakened NATO alliance, amid increasing co-operation between an increasingly militant North Korea and ultranationalist-controlled Russia. The increased deployment of U.S. troops abroad (and the highlighted threat of cyberwarfare) leaves the mainland vulnerable.
U.S. Marine Jed Eckert is home on leave in Spokane, Washington. He reunites with his father, Spokane Police Sergeant Tom Eckert and his brother, high school football player Matt Eckert. The morning after a mysterious power outage, swarms of invading North Korean paratroopers and transport aircraft attack the city. The two storm out of the house and Matt witnesses an F-16 shoot down a Korean transport plane while they leave in a pick-up truck. Their father tells them to flee to their cabin in the woods while he helps the townspeople. They are later joined there by Matt's fellow students Robert, Daryl, Toni, Danny, Julie, Greg and Pete. Tensions build as the teens try to decide whether to surrender to the invaders or resist, with Pete ending up betraying their position. North Korean soldiers, under the command of Captain Cho, bring Sergeant Eckert and the mayor out to convince the group to surrender, but Cho executes Sergeant Eckert after he refuses to cooperate and actively encourages them to resist (or die trying).
Jed intends to fight and the others agree to join him, calling themselves the Wolverines after their school mascot. After acquiring weapons, establishing a base in an abandoned mine, and being trained by Jed, the Wolverines begin a series of guerrilla attacks against soldiers and collaborators, including Pete. During one attack, they lose Greg, but rescue Matt's girlfriend, Erica. The North Koreans retaliate by bombarding the surrounding woods to destroy the Wolverines' base, killing Danny and Julie, with the remaining survivors fleeing deeper into the woods. The Wolverines encounter Marine Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner and Marines Smith and Hodges. They reveal that the Russian-backed North Korean invasion used an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon that crippled the U.S. electrical grid and military infrastructure, followed by landings along the East and West Coasts. American counterattacks eventually halted their advances, leaving an area stretching from Michigan to Montana and Alabama to Arizona as "Free America" and as Smith suggest, the Mexico-United States border was battlefront for weeks and other NATO allies are coming their way. They also reveal that Captain Cho carries a suitcase containing an EMP-resistant radio telephone that would enable the U.S. command to monitor invasion force radio traffic and to regroup for a counter-offensive. The Wolverines assist Tanner, Smith, and Hodges in infiltrating the North Koreans' center of operations at a local police station. They succeed in stealing the suitcase with Jed avenging his father's death by killing Cho, though Hodges is mortally wounded.
The Wolverines escape with the radio and regroup at their base. The Wolverines are ambushed by Russian Spetsnaz, and Jed is killed by a sniper who shot him while he walked past a window. Matt and the rest of the Wolverines escape with the radio to the Marines' extraction point. The next day, Robert comes to the realization that during the police station escape, Daryl had been tagged with a tracking transmitter and that the Russians have been homing in on him ever since. After some thought, Daryl accepts the fact that he cannot go on with them, Robert gives Daryl his M249 SAW, Daryl decides to stay behind, presumably to ambush the pursuing group and likely die in the encounter.
The group delivers the radio to Tanner and Smith, who depart in a helicopter. The remaining Wolverines stay behind and continue to fight, a scene shows the Wolverines recruiting more members and raiding prisoner camps. Matt uses Jed's speech to convince others to join their cause. In the end of the film, the Wolverines, under Matt's command, raid a North Korean prison camp, setting hundreds of prisoners free.
- Josh Peck as Matt Eckert
- Chris Hemsworth as Jed Eckert
- Josh Hutcherson as Robert Kitner
- Adrianne Palicki as Toni Walsh
- Isabel Lucas as Erica Martin
- Connor Cruise as Daryl Jenkins
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner
- Kenneth Choi as Cpl. Smith
- Edwin Hodge as Danny Jackson
- Brett Cullen as Tom Eckert
- Alyssa Diaz as Julie Goodyear
- Julian Alcaraz as Greg Goodyear
- Michael Beach as Mayor Jenkins
- Will Yun Lee as Captain Cho
- Matt Gerald as Sgt. Hodges
- Steve Lenz as Pete
- Mark Schlereth as Coach Dolen
- Principal photography began September 2009 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. According to photographs taken on set, the film features propaganda pamphlets, posters, and banners featuring People's Liberation Army symbols, such as the August 1 star. The posters, which are designed to be satirical in nature, attempt to garner support for a Chinese occupation, with slogans such as "Rebuilding Your Reputation," "Repairing Your Economy," and "Fighting Corporate Corruption." 
- In March 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that MGM is changing the villains in its Red Dawn remake from Chinese to North Korean in order to maintain access to China's lucrative box office. The changes reportedly cost less than $1 million and involve changing an opening sequence summarizing the story's fictional backdrop, re-editing two scenes and using digital technology to transform many Chinese symbols to Korean. The changes will not eliminate all references to China though will give North Korea a much larger role in the coalition that invades the U.S. Producer Trip Vinson stated, "We were initially very reluctant to make any changes, but after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous 'Red Dawn' that we believe improves the movie."
Images from the Film
Images from the Set