Red Dawn : HS kids become instant A-team??

HS kids become instant A-team??

Would have been more believable had the first ambush failed and took one or two losses. Second ambush a little more successful...getting experience a little at a time. These guys went instantly from football hicks to elite partisans.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

I agree that this would have made it more believable, but this movie has a lot of things that are only possible in fiction of this kind already. To me, it doesn't ruin the story to have these unrealistic details.

Another example is when the girl rides up to the gas station with her picinic basket on her bike. The Russians grab the picinic basket and throw it in the tank, then chase her to the open field where they're gunned down by the Wolverines. It's a cool scene, but to work, it relies on the Russians taking the picinic basket and putting it in the tank rather than dumping it on the ground or kicking it like a football (or paying attention to it at all). Then, rather than blowing her head off, they chase her, giving the Wolverines a chance to pop out of the ground and kill them. I think the movie would have been more realistic if at least a few of the professional soldiers would have acted like professional soldiers.

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I'm just expressing my opinion.

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Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Sometimes they acted professional and sometimes they didn't. The guy who led the counterinsurgency teams did a great job. Colonel Bella was believable.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

The first ambush is completely by accident, when they get bumped by the off-duty trio.

The second ambush is better-planned - the Wolverines use the girl as bait, assuming the commies won't shoot because they will want to take her alive so they can gang-rape her.
This is a propaganda portrayal of the enemy as subhumans, as drunkards and rapists - the way that North Korea portrays American GIs.
In all fairness, the Russian conscripts who conquered Germany in 1945 are notorious for behaving in such a way, and the USSR military of the 1980s was a conscript army.

The best ambush the Wolverines did was the one where they planned it out in advance, worked out where the enemy soldiers would run for cover - and then had someone there to drop grenades on them.
There is definitely a learning curve on display.

Most of the Russians and Cubans are presumably poorly-trained conscripts, basically civilians in uniform as opposed to professional career military. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have to learn how to shoot accurately in order to catch their dinner.

However, the big problem I have is the ambush on the Spetznaz foot-patrol. I mean, seriously? The Wolverines work out where they are, where they are going ... and then take them all out in a single burst of gunfire?
That might work on conscripted civilians, but not on a professional Special Forces unit!

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Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Back-flipping tomahawk throwing skills aside, Soviet spetznaz were just conscripts too. Better trained and motivated than the bulk of Soviet troops, true. but probably not quite as well trained as US Army Rangers and almost certainly not at the level of SF.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

They weren't just high school kids. They were WOLVERINES!

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

I think the message is that if you click your heels three times you too can become an elite killing machine before outgrowing Clearasil.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

I think the movie showed the Wolverines making some mistakes and learning from them. The first ambush was against three guys who were sight-seeing and not planning on seeing anyone, especially out in the wilderness. And even then, the ambush almost went tits up. The girl almost fell from her perch, the one kid trips and falls when they're setting up the ambush, etc. Taking out a pair of T-72s even costs the Wolverine a couple of their own.

Eventually, they start finding AKs and more ammo to blow through along with some grenades and explosives so they can be more creative. Plus they start planning better ambushes, like setting up claymores on the side of the road where the enemy soldiers are hiding. Having said that, a few of them were hunters to begin with and had grown up in the area so they had the home field advantage.

Hell, the movie even shows us that the kids aren't soldiers. One kid goes on a revenge binge, another gets bugged by the Soviets and tries to hide it from his own comrades, while the leader of the group has a breakdown. And as others pointed out, the majority of the Soviet and Cuban/Nicaraguan troops the Wolverines ambush are probably conscripts. Once they use actual anti-insurgent tactics, the Wolverines begin to break down. As stated above one gets bugged and the Wolverines have to execute him. Another time they begin sending in GRU Spetsnaz, and once they show up with Mi-24 Hinds the Wolverines got nothing to fight back with.

This reflected the Mujahideen's struggle against the Soviets. They were well aware of the Hind's capabilities and were afraid of them, and had the CIA not supplied the Mujahideen with Stinger missiles the outcome of the Soviets' War in Afghanistan may have turned out much differently. Once Strelnikov brings his Hinds to bare, the Wolverines are finished since they have no Stinger missiles and the choppers are too heavily armored for small arms fire and RPG's.

Can't be too careful with all those weirdos running around.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

At least the 'Wolverines' had experience with firearms and weren't a bunch of suburban kids who had never fired an air rifle let alone a real gun. Sure there's no comparison to hunting animals and shooting at targets vs fighting Communist invaders. It does at least you give you some sort of a starting point. You can add that the fathers and grandfathers have combat experience so they may have learned something from them.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

It would've slowed the film down showing them training, but like others have said they do show their first mission being almost a total failure, and Jed and his brother probably have experience hunting with guns. I guess the Wolverines learned by doing. They used the land to their advantage, and having grown up their, they all had experience of being out in the wilderness. They essentially used their home field turf against the commies. The tactics were spot on.

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Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Agreed and an excellent post. The problem is with the timeline the movie lays out. "October" they're just getting set up and botching the initial ambush. What exactly was the plan there? Hope the enemy sees you and starts chasing you into the ambush without shooting you in the back?

I love this movie and everything these characters did/stood for/represented whatever you name it, love it all. But that first "ambush" was a terrible plan if that was in fact the plan. I like to think they just stumbled upon killing some bad guys and decided eff it, we can do this.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Back in the 80s kids played outdoors, went camping in the woods, learned how to shoot and hunt, especially rural kids. Unlike the pansies being raised today.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Bingo

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

This, and the fact the Wolverines were a parallel for the insurgents the Russians faced in Afghanistan.

Going back watching the movie recently, their tactic were a bit eye-rolling at parts (it is 1984 to be fair), but the Wolverines had nothing BUT time on their hands to combat and harass the Russians...especially given the fact they were still fighting US forces.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

Well, this is what i said about the re-make. I felt that they turned into tough soldiers too soon.
But in the original film, there is a believable progression...

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

I think there was some progression too. Yes it was a little fast but it is a movie and not slot of time to show it. I do think they should have mentioned that maybe one or two of them played baseball. I know 3 of them did play football, but throwing a grenade inside a tank or APV from that distance took a lot more skill than most people think.

Re: HS kids become instant A-team??

i just re-watched today, this has been one of my favorite movies since it first came out.
I still think the first ambush was anything but.
It was a chance encounter. They were there, the commies rolled up and they hid. They were trying to stay hidden when the arrow was found, and then they were exposed. they fought back in self defense.
Then, when they survived, they decided to let it turn into something else, as alluded to earlier, when Jed kept saying this about crying for their dead fathers...
Let it turn to something else.
They determined then that they could indeed do some good, they could at least kick these invaders in the shins and let them know they were not going to roll over.
The first real mission, was Jennifer Grey honey potting the tank driver with the picnic basket bomb, and then leading the rest of the group to the killing field.
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