Red Dawn shows nostalgia for Cold War mindset

By Chen Chenchen Source:Global Times Published: 2012-11-27 0:55:04

The 2012 version of Red Dawn, a controversial remake of the 1984 film, recently premiered in the US. The remake, filmed in 2009, originally swapped Soviet invaders with Chinese ones, but in post-production, Chinese soldiers were digitally changed into North Koreans.

Reviewing this dramatic twist, Western film critics largely interpreted the film as "digital appeasement" and "political pandering" to China.

They held that MGM film studio executives were too afraid to lose 1.3 billion theatergoers, and that the remake was all due to US fear of China.

The impression may ring more true to some, since in 2012, China was hailed as the last refuge for the human race on Earth.

Is Red Dawn another trendsetting movie? By erasing Chinese "villains" from the screen, Hollywood filmmakers were probably showing their good intentions. But will the movie be more plausible after this about-turn?

The 1984 cult classic Red Dawn did not stint in its demonization of Soviets, which was prevalent during the Cold War era.

But two decades later, Hollywood is still stuck in the clichéd storytelling of beautifying itself and oversimplifying the world.

Hollywood filmmakers never seem to tire of telling stories of the US saving the world from the brink of collapse, while the opponents are wicked villains, be they Chinese or North Koreas.

In Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, good and evil are also in sharp contrast: A US agent desperately endeavors to save the world, while a Russian lunatic uses every means to instigate a nuclear purging of the Earth.

The Avengers probably reaches the peak in this regard: A long list of US heroes is assembled in the movie to kill evil and save Earth.

Apparently, Hollywood blockbusters have a profound impact on the US audience, given their huge box office takings. The thread bare plots in a world divided between devils and angels reinforce how audiences look at the world.

Many film critics believe that the Cold War has made a comeback to Hollywood movies in recent years. In real politics, it is not uncommon for Americans to demonstrate their tendency to see the world from a rigid ideological perspective.

For Hollywood filmmakers, the Cold War theme is perhaps a safe card to play. And it is certainly fun to sit in cinema and finish a box of popcorn while watching good defeat evil.

However, we need to remember that when the brainless fun ends, the real world is completely different - the relationship between any two countries is so complicated that a black-or-white view is excessively outdated in today's world.

Posted in: Observer

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