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Goodbye London, hello communist invasion

August 19, 2012
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor ( , Times-Republican

The scene is over in London. The flags are tucked away, the athletes have returned to their lucrative careers as toll booth attendants and/or baristas and the dressage horses have stopped walking around like they are being prodded by some entitled snob on a saddle.

The Olympics have come to a close.

And I for one am more than happy to see the end of the spectacle that is watching thousands of fans watch a bunch of cyclists scoot around parts of London they wouldn't stop at on a dare.

I like having my regular TV channels back. I like that no one is trying to convince me that speed walking is anything but a cruel prank gone too far. And, most importantly, I like that the countries of the world no longer work out their differences on the field of athletic competition but rather have returned to the traditional method: making each other look bad in the movies.

And the United States is the undisputed champion of the universe in making other countries look bad in the movies; or, at least we used to be.

Behold! The long awaited remake of "Red Dawn" is soon to be upon us!

That's right. The ultimate movie about a high school football team that repels a Soviet invasion using stealth, speed and Swayze, was long overdue for a remake.

Actually it was long overdue in 2009 when they actually made the movie. But due to a slight total bankruptcy of MGM studios the movie was shelved until this year.

But who cares? This is "Red Dawn" we're talking about! Wolverines!!! Who didn't find that movie on cable at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night in high school and think to themselves "why can't I get girls to go out with me?"

OK, that problem was unrelated to "Red Dawn." Regardless, it is an excellent movie. AND I have since gotten more than one girl to go out with me, thank you very much. Some might say up to and including three, but I don't want to brag.

But we've got an all new century and an all new "Red Dawn."

While the old version was hopelessly bound to the confines of Cold War rhetoric this new version promises something much more than Communist Russia invading the United States; this time around the United States is invaded by Communist China.

Well, it was supposed to be, anyway. Then MGM went bankrupt.

Now, I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories other than the one with Lee Harvey Oswald, ABSCAM and that guitar store that's always open but you never see anyone walk into it but perhaps I've said too much. But MGM's "Redspiracy" (Conspiradawn?) is too blatant to ignore.

See, the movie was originally shot in 2008, when MGM was flush with pre-Recession ticket sales. I'm sure the talented and in no way hackney MGM execs figured, with no more Soviets to kick around, the next best Red Scare was the Chinese. Also nobody wanted to pick on the Russians for fear that Russian Federation Prime President Vladimir Putin would swim across the Bering Strait and karate chop their heads off.

Flash forward to 2012. MGM has a sudden influx of cash and is ready to release their new "Red Dawn" on an unsuspecting American audience.

Except now, instead of the Chinese army invading Anytown USA we are faced with the North Koreans?

Apparently MGM went through the movie and digitally replaced the Chinese army with those guys that can never get their missiles to work.


The North Koreans? Are they invading as revenge against "M.A.S.H." reruns? Here's the problem with replacing one competent country with a country run by a totalitarian man-child: who is going to be scared of an army controlled by a grown man that threw himself a Disney on Ice-themed birthday party? No one. Maybe Disney's intellectual property lawyers, but that would be it.

So MGM sacks any hint of artistic integrity in the hopes of netting a small fraction of the Chinese movie going audience with a little help from technology and good, old fashioned Hollywood racism, all the while claiming this new version is somehow better.

And it doesn't stop there! I saw a picture of the kid warriors in the movie and they're all dressed like American teenagers! Who made that call?

In the original movie the kids all took on the appearance of Afghan freedom fighters that were repelling the Soviet invasion at the time. So how come the new movie doesn't have a bunch of American kids blowing up tanks dressed up like bin Laden oh ... right.

So the Chinese have figured out a way to make us look bad in our own movies? Congrats, China. I'm sure you could get a medal for such an accomplishment, but not for another four years. Until then: Wolverines!!!


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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