New Red Dawn just a little scary

2010 looks to be a great year for movies. There are a lot of movies on my “radar” for the next year but one has been simmering in the background of my mind, Red Dawn. Like almost any child of the eighties I was outraged at first to hear that a beloved bit of cheese and Regan era propaganda was being remade. Then I heard that the “Red” in Red Dawn were the Chinese and I was a little interested. Then I saw the propaganda posters and I was hooked. Given the messages on these posters this MAY be a movie as culturally reflective as the first.

The original Red Dawn captured such a unique moment of American sentiment that I had at first wondered how in the world could you even translate it to modern day America? I mean the original Red Dawn is quite possibly the most conservative movie ever made. (I swear it’s on the NRA’s “favorite movie” list) There isn’t now the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union for a bunch of untrained American teenagers to kick in the ass. However, there is the reality that the vast majority of our national debt is being held by China and our debt is only getting worse. (some estimates would put our national debt near 80% of our GDP in fifteen years) What if China just called in the note? Looking at these “propaganda posters” you can see the vein that the Chinese are taking in the new movie.

Given the worst recession in decades, the general hatred of Wall Street, and the fact that Americans are distrusting and disapproving of Washington in general make these bits of “propaganda” eerily appropriate. Having the Chinese present themselves as “liberators” offering the “true freedom” of limited choice while promising a rebuilt economy, well that’s not just plausible it’s downright creepy. Of course there are overtones of America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and it will be a noted irony in the movie to have Americans fighting an insurgency after all this is Hollywood. But I’ll be keeping my eye out for this movie and hoping it isn’t prophetic.

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