The Trailer Park: Patriots and Con Artists

Two action comedies will hit cinemas fairly soon, but only one of them is intentionally funny. The other just looks laughably stupid.

‘Seven Psychopaths’

This trailer won me over when Christopher Walken refuses to put his hands up just because someone points a gun at him. That’s pretty damn funny. Then we have Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell playing unusual con-artist pacifists in a situation that’s way over their heads. Meanwhile, Woody Harrelson is a mob boss emasculated when his precious Shih Tzu is kidnapped. The story from writer/director Martin McDonagh, whose previous ‘In Bruges’ has quickly grown into a cult favorite, looks to have a terrifically dark and quirky edge. I’m willing to give this one a chance in theaters.

‘Red Dawn’

I’m just going to come out and say that this looks like the most idiotic thing to ever come out of Hollywood. The original movie with Patrick Swayze wasn’t anything special, but at least its premise of a Communist nation invading the United States actually seemed plausible to a small degree during the height of the Cold War. Today, this just seems completely stupid. Seriously, are you f**king sh*tting me?! We’re supposed to believe that North Korea is going to invade the U.S.? And what the hell is up with Chris Hemsworth’s accent? The directorial debut of stuntman Dan Bradley, this movie looks like it will suck major balls. Unfortunately, it’s possibly make a decent return at the box office from younger audiences anyway.

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17 comments

  1. Alex

    Supposedly, Red Dawn originally featured China as the antagonists (a bit more plausible than North Korea as it has 50x as many people living there), but the studio had them change it in post-production so that the film would actually make some money when released in China.

    • I believe what actually happened was that someone pointed out to the studio executives that their company is heavily indebted to Chinese investors.

      China doesn’t need to invade the U.S. They can just buy us. 🙂

    • Jason

      I read this too somewhere over a year ago. It seems that the film had been shelved but now with several of the young stars having breakout success in other films the studio is looking for an easy payday.
      As for this being plausible, it would only take a few well placed EMP devices to cripple most of the northeast including Washington DC. The vulnerability of the electrical grid is well documented and if the strike were well enough coordinated anything could be possible.

      • The problem is that North Korea is simply too small of a nation to plausibly invade a massive land area like the United States. They just don’t have the manpower to effectively cover this much ground, much less to fend off the angry defense of millions of gun-totin’, trigger-happy Americans.

        Never mind the fundamental question of why they would want to invade us in the first place. What could they possibly gain or achieve? Even if they were successful, they’d just be stuck with having to rule us and deal with all the messes that we already have going on. Better to just sit back and watch us crumble into ruin all on our own, so that they can little-by-little buy up the parts of us that they actually want at bargain-basement prices. Which is what the Chinese are currently doing.

        The scenario was far-fetched enough when it was supposed to be the Russians invading during the height of the Cold War. We were paranoid enough to believe that could happen. But this? Today? Nah, it’s just stupid. Nobody could possibly buy into this.

        • I think I’ll go uber-nerd here and recommend that more people read ‘The Man in the High Castle.’ It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking vision of an occupied and conquered US that dispenses with a ‘Red Dawn’ like resistance to get at the inevitable clash of cultures.

          • Barsoom Bob

            Good call. One of my most favorite Philip K Dick stories. America neatly divided and occupied between the Germans in the Eastern half and the Japanese in the Western. No guns or militia necessary, you win back the country by winning over the people. A shame it is considered Science Fiction.

  2. JM

    ‘Red Dawn’ is the 2nd film in the ‘Team America’ trilogy. The 3rd will be claymation.

    From the ‘Seven Psychopaths’ trailer, you would never know the main characters are screenwriters trying to write a movie called ‘Seven Psychopaths.’

  3. VIOZ

    I don’t get it: so I’m supposed to stay away from movies that have plots that are implausible. Ok. I still don’t get it.

    • M. Enois Duarte
      Author

      Not saying you shouldn’t watch it. But the plot is of the lowest denominator and sounds dumb, and the trailer makes it seem so.

      Watch it if you like. Enjoy it. Love it. Marry it. But IMO, it’s a rental at best.

  4. Seven Psychopaths looks… well, it could be amusing or it could just be so full of its own ‘cleverness’ that it’s a boring train wreck. Personally I couldn’t make it past about the first 20 mins of In Bruges, and believe me, I’ve managed to sit through some terrible films to give ’em a chance. 😉

    Red Dawn looks like harmless enough fun. Sure, it’s less plausible now, but if you’re re-doing the story, you’ve gotta pick someone as the villain, or else have aliens or people from an alternate dimension or something, which would defeat the purpose of the story.

    I love the original film, but I have to say it’s annoying that they’ve made Hemsworth a marine. It defeats the point of the original, about average kids being forced through circumstance to become resistance fighters.

    Unfortunately countless modern action films try to teach us that no one can fight unless they have some kind of ‘expertly trained’ person to lead them and at least be the main hero. Gone are the days of the original Red Dawn, or things like (the original) ‘V’ that show normal everyday people stepping up to the mark. 😉

    • M. Enois Duarte
      Author

      Interesting point. I hadn’t thought of that or really noticed. You’re right, we don’t see the archetype of the common citizen fighting to protect their country. Now, they must have some military background. Really interesting.

      • It tends to only be thrillers now that will have an even vaguely average person be the hero. Last time I remember a film with a ‘normal everyday person’ being somewhat of an action hero was Breakdown or Red Eye (there’re probably a few others I’m just not thinking of).

        Imagine if someone remade Star Wars now? Luke would have been in some kind of martial arts training or something for years on Tatooine before the film starts, because of course in a remake he would be swinging around on wires for 3/4s of the film kicking Stormtroopers in slow motion. 😉

        Ever noticed as well, that gun battles always have to devolve to hand-to-hand now, regardless of plausibility, because it obviously doesn’t provide enough blurry in-your-face personal action unless people are punching and kicking each other? (Dark Knight Rises, I’m looking at you!) Luke, Han and Leia could never just should Stormtroopers now. They’d be in the thick of it, somehow punching and kicking through their armour, all the while the Stormtroopers would give up on simply blasting them at short range in order to punch back. 😉

        • EM

          “I always intended for Luke to kick and punch stormtroopers in slow motion, but the technology did not yet exist.” —The Flanneled One

          😉

    • EM

      The new Red Dawn could have been much more psychologically plausible if, ironically, it had gone the satirical route: Red Maple Dawn, with the invading-occupying force being Canada. Plausibility would be high since we Yanks usually don’t pay attention to our neighbor to the north (or east, for Alaskans): so, those Canadians could be up to just about anything! And much as I liked the idea of Canadian Bacon, I think the concept is due for a better-executed update.