Looking over previous reviews it's obvious that this film has generated a large degree of debate. Most people argue that your view of the film will be tainted by your political philosophy (are you a red-blooded American who would give your life to defend the values of your country, or a cowardly tree hugger in denial about the imminent Cubo-Russian assault?)
Well, as neither of those (Cubans and Russians teaming up to invade a hick town is completely believable, yeah?), I hope to be able to give a somewhat balanced review of the film, and the fact is, it is terrible.
The main problem with the film is that it just seems like a bunch of scenes thrown together rather than sequence of events leading to a climax and resolution. There is almost no characterisation apart from a few throwaway lines near the start of the movie, and the action starts about 1 minute in to the movie. If alarm bells are ringing, good. It's really hard to care about what happens to someone when you haven't even caught their name. Compounding this problem is the woeful acting - the acting is often so wooden I caught myself laughing out loud several times.
And as previously mentioned, there is no context to the majority of the movie. It's just a lot of scenes of our heroes killing commies in the woods / attacking enemy bases. This is what absolutely killed it for me - most of the time you don't know who they are attacking, what purpose it serves, what they are trying to achieve, what the desired outcome is etc etc. This makes it mind numbing to watch - it's almost like watching stock footage of a war where you don't know which side is which. I understand that this might be the situation they are placed in, where they don't know how long they will be fighting for and so on, but it certainly does not make for good cinema when you have no reason to care about the outcome of the battles they engage in. I guess what I'm saying is that there's no progression throughout the movie - it would be entirely feasible to cut and paste 80% of the movie into a different order and it would have no bearing whatsoever on the plot.
Perhaps the most ironic part of the movie is that the only person to show mercy is one of the Communists. It hardly makes you feel for the "Good Guys" when they kill people in cold blood throughout the movie yet the "Bad Guy" is the only one big enough to let a wounded enemy walk away. Actually that's not true, the most ironic part of the movie would have to be the moustaches which all the commies have, but that's another story....
I guess the one thing that saves it for me is that not all of our "heroes" live - it would have received one star had it been a complete feel good walkover, and it's a measure of restraint which the movie could have used a lot more of.
So, if you're a red blooded American whose eyes brim with tears every time you hear your national anthem then by all means see this movie as you'll probably enjoy it. That doesn't mean it's a good movie though.
Action / Drama / War
Action / Drama / War
From out of the sky, Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops begin landing on the football field of a Colorado high school. In a few seconds, the paratroopers have attacked the school and sent a group of teenagers fleeing into the mountains. Armed only with hunting rifles, pistols, and bows and arrows, the teens struggle to survive the bitter winter and the Soviet K.G.B. patrols hunting for them. Eventually, trouble arises when they kill a group of Soviet soldiers on patrol in the highlands. Soon they will wage their own guerrilla warfare against the invading Soviet troops under the banner of "Wolverines!"
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November 10, 2012 at 05:42 PM