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'Red Dawn' Vs. 'Red Dawn': Is The 1984 Film Better Than The 2012 Film?

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RED DAWN
"Red Dawn" vs. "Red Dawn." | MGM/Open Road

On Nov. 21, 2012, a movie titled “Red Dawn” was released into movie theaters. On Aug. 10, 1984, another movie with the title “Red Dawn” was released into movie theaters. Both movies are about a small group of American freedom fighters, called the Wolverines, fighting back against an invading foreign army. Here, we compare the Cold War-era sorta-classic to the sorta-new (“Red Dawn” was filmed in 2009), revamped version that you probably won't see. (Spoilers ahead, if you care.)

"Red Dawn" (1984)"Red Dawn" (2012)Advantage
The oppressing forces are from the Soviet Union.The oppressing forces are from North Korea.1984
Takes place in Calumet, Colo., which is nowhere near an ocean and makes no sense as a military target.Takes place in Spokane, Wash., which is near the Pacific Ocean and makes sense as a military target.2012
Was a statement on the ongoing tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.Is a statement on the ongoing tension between the American movie-going public and film studios that produce bad remakes.1984
China is an American ally.China was the original villain, until someone realized that Chinese citizens buy movie tickets and North Korean citizens do not.1984
After “Red Dawn” was filmed, C. Thomas Howell, who played Robert, went on to star in “Soul Man.”After “Red Dawn” was filmed, Josh Hutcherson, who played Robert, went on to star in “The Hunger Games.”2012
Harry Dean Stanton, who plays the father of Jed (Patrick Swayze) and Matt Eckert (Charlie Sheen), screams, “Avenge me!,” before eventually being executed.Brett Cullen, who plays the father of Jed (Chris Hemsworth) and Matt Eckert (Josh Peck), does not scream, “Avenge me!,” before eventually being executed.1984
Robert is excited to shoot his first deer, then shares a bonding moment with Jed and Matt after drinking the blood of his first kill.Robert is hesitant to shoot a deer (even though he just shot three human beings) and then is made fun of by Jed and Matt after being tricked into drinking the deer’s blood.1984
The leader of the invading forces is a Cuban national who sympathizes with the Wolverines.The leader of the invading forces is a North Korean national who has no character traits whatsoever.1984
After every Wolverine attack, civilians from the town are lined up and executed as a grim retribution.After a Wolverine attack, one civilian from the town was almost executed.1984
The remaining U.S. military is seen mounting many attacks against the oppressors. The remaining U.S. military either doesn’t care or is incapacitated. 1984
A member of the Wolverines, Daryl, is discovered with a tracking device and is executed as a traitor. A member of the Wolverines, Daryl, is discovered with a tracking device and is just kind of left behind and forgotten about. 1984
Seventy-five percent of the Wolverines die or are presumed dead.Twenty-five percent of the Wolverines die or are presumed dead.1984
Robert wears a "Star Wars" hat throughout the film.There are no "Star Wars" references.1984
Notable for being the first movie to ever garner a PG-13 rating.Notable for no reason whatsoever.1984
Helped launch the careers of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Grey. Quite possibly saved the careers of Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson by not being released until after they were established stars.Even
Is a decent enough movie.Is not a decent enough movie.1984

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

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