Red Dawn, Remade!

They have remade Red Dawn.

I probably shouldn’t write about this movie, which is just now getting its release.  I haven’t seen it, yet.  Of course, as an aficionado of the original movie, which featured some really up-and-coming actors while at their seeming youngest, I will be comparing the original film very closely with this one, when I finally see it.  But the remake already has red flags going up in my mind, no pun intended.

North Koreans?  Are you kidding me?

The original film had a degree of believability about it, with a combined Soviet/Cuban invasion of the mainland USA.  At the time, Russia was the Soviet Union, and had the military clout to actually pull off a credible invasion, and with a satellite state like Cuba right off the southern border of the US, this was completely believable.  And not only that, the story and the actors were damned fine and believable, too.  Patrick Swayze at his best, in my opinion.

But this film, while it still features a communist invasion of the United States, sacrifices believability for that big foreign market in China.  This movie was filmed under the premise of a Red Chinese invasion of the United States.  This is at least a plausible premise.  But they changed this in post-production to a North Korean invasion!  Here’s what Wikipedia says:

In March 2011 . . . MGM changed 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 film’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”.

I am going to have to see this film in order to determine if they’ve made it scarier, smarter or dangerouser.  Perhaps they have.  But what they have done is to throw REALITY under the bus.

North Korea can’t even pull off an invasion of South Korea, and they’re right next door.

So why would anyone think they could pull one off against the United States?  I mean, this is patently ridiculous, unless they can come up with some alternate history in the back story.  Today’s North Korea has a military that, in sheer numbers at least, is one of the largest in the world.  The estimate is that they have about 1 million men and women on active duty, and 8 million in reserve.  That sounds like a lot, but for the purpose of successfully invading the United States they would need a lot of air transport.  And the air transport would need some degree of protection from opposing air defenses.  And this is where it all breaks down.

North Korea’s air force currently has 3 IL-76 and 2 IL-62 heavy air transport aircraft, with 2 more IL-62 in airliner configuration.  Altogether, in a single airlift they could fly approximately 1200 fully-equipped infantry soldiers.  About half-way to Seattle, Washington (Washington is the state that is invaded, in the movie), the 3 IL-76’s and their 400 passengers would  crash into the Bering Sea.  Mid-air replenishment?  North Korea doesn’t have any air tankers.   The remaining 800 troops on board the IL-62’s would continue on, dropping these presumed paratroopers somewhere in Washington state.

And that would be it.  The IL-62’s would be running on fumes by this point, and the best they could hope to accomplish would be to land at some civilian airport and try to fuel up for the trip home.  Either that or kamikaze into some valuable target.

And all this assumes the entire United States military establishment is sitting on its hands.  Something which seems unreasonable to an extreme.  And let us see.  Hmmm.  Washington state is host to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and something like 25,000 active duty US Army troops.  And there’s the Washington National Guard, with the 81st Infantry Brigade.  Against 800 North Korean paratroopers who have no possibility of re-supply, no motor transport, and probably wandering the vast woodlands of Washington?

No, this does not pass the smell test.

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