Why Fighting Off North Korea is Much Better for ‘Red Dawn’

By  · Published on March 16th, 2011

In what seems clearly like a move to appease a massive movie market overseas, MGM will be changing their invading army in the Red Dawn remake to North Korea instead of China. In perhaps the first time, art and commerce are in agreement.

Think about it. Did China ever make sense anyway? The reason the USSR was so effective in the 80s original was because of decades of Cold War hostility that seeped into the popular response. Do you really care about China? Are you honestly afraid of them? Of course not.

Now how about North Korea?

Exactly. The United States isn’t engaged in a Cold War right now, and using an enemy from a Hot War is far, far too realistically horrifying for a mainstream action film featuring teens. For example, Al Qaeda invading would be a different movie entirely.

The LA Times gets into the nitty gritty on why the decision was made, but as far as the artistic side of the movie, this seems like a smart move that should have been made a long time ago. Sure, China is communistic just like the Soviets, but popular culture doesn’t particular care anymore. Kim Jong-il makes for a much better boogeyman, even if he did invent the apple and write every major work of fiction ever.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.