Spokane, Washington, is the target of an invasion of parachute troops from North Korea in this remake of the 1984 John Milius-directed film Red Dawn. A rag-tag team of teenage guerrillas escapes to the woods and trains to become a “tiny flea that can drive a big dog crazy,” as proposed by the team’s leader, Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth).
The main theme is the decision that each member of the team must make on his or her own regarding the fight: whether or not to get involved and fight for home, family, and country. A sub-theme is the reconciliation of Jed with his younger brother Matt (Josh Peck) who finally resolve their differences under the pressure of increasing resistance by the enemy.
Underlying it all is resistance to tyranny.
Many of the action sequences are lifted from the original film including the ambush scene where one of the team members, Toni (Adrianne Palicki), baits some soldiers into chasing her around the corner of a building. They are met and gunned down by other team members who then ransack the bodies for their weapons and ammunition, giving them the additional firepower they desperately need to become the irritating flea on the back of the North Korean troops.
There is frequent reference to why such resistance, at the potential cost of their lives, is needed from the members. As Jed explained:
When you’re fighting in your own backyard, when you’re fighting for your family, it all hurts a little and makes a little more sense.
That’s our biggest advantage. For them, this is just a place.
For us, this is our home.
As the film develops, the resistance by the Wolverines encourages those in town not already rotting in a POW camp to join them.
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