The reviews are in: Michigan taxpayer financed Red Dawn movie remake is a dud

Former worst Governor of all time, Jennifer Granholm – Democrat, was all about the movie industry. This is what she said in 2010 while defending her excessive film tax credit.

In an apparent effort to bolster a program that has recently drawn some harsh scrutiny, Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Friday renewed her support for film tax breaks that were enacted in 2008. Michigan offers filmmakers a tax credit of up to 42% on qualified production expenses, the most generous incentive of its kind in the country.

“We are watching an entire new industry emerge in Michigan,” Granholm said at an event hosted by a film industry group. “The number of productions being filmed in Michigan is increasing, we are creating jobs and attracting production facilities, and we are keeping our young people here in Michigan.”

This was such a great plan, the city of Allen Park, MI is near bankruptcy because they financed a movie studio, betting the film industry would taking root here in Michigan.

It didn’t.

Keeping with the failure theme, an excerpt of The Michigan View’s look at the new Red Dawn film released earlier this week.

Michigan taxpayers shelled out $16.7 million in tax rebates for the remake of Red Dawn and all they got was a lousy screen credit – and bragging rights that a film set in Washington actually was shot in Michigan.

Typically, it can be assumed a movie is a stinker when it takes three years to reach theater screens. Shot in Michigan for $44.4 million in 2009, Red Dawn languished on the shelf while the MGM studio fought back from bankruptcy and made the decision to change the film’s invading army from Chinese to North Korean. While audiences waited (as if for Godot) for the film’s release, then-unknown lead actor Chris Hemsworth’s star rose precipitously as The Avengers’ Norse deity – and Hollywood picked up a cool $16.7 mil as a reward for filming in the Great Lakes State.

That large chunk of change, as reported by my friends at the Mackinac Center, was the largest of the state’s ill-advised 42-percent film tax credits. I’ll leave it to the Mackinac gurus to make the economic case as why the film credits are wrongheaded and wasteful as public policy. I’ll simply say it’s just another government sop to the arts and entertainment industry using taxpayer dollars. Never mind the quality of the films produced with the help of public monies, it’s just plain absurd regardless.

But, boy, with this new version of Red Dawn, we taxpayers sure got taken for a ride. A silly little ride that somehow makes the original Red Dawn seem by comparison as if it were filmed by Sergei Eisenstein or David Lean.

The Michigan View isn’t alone in disliking the movie, it received a paltry 11% on Rotten Tomato’s “Tomatometer.”

Even the star of the movie, the guy who portrays Thor in The Avengers, is a tad sheepish about the new Red Dawn, downplaying the film in an Entertainment Weekly interview last summer:

“I saw it the other day and I was like, ‘Oh, right, I made this!’” joked Hemsworth to EW last week, talking about making the film before he had much experience in Hollywood. “It had this school camp feel. We were all from somewhere else and we were all excited about the adventure we were about to go on. It was like going to a new school, it’s just that at this school, we were shooting at people.”

Well, as a Michigan taxpayer, I’m glad that I helped finance your “school camp” experience.

At least we have that since Michigan tax payers received no economic benefit from this failed government centered economic experiment of picking winners and losers.

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire November 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    “Well, as a Michigan taxpayer, I’m glad that I helped finance your “school camp” experience.”

    Yeah, I bet you are. You probably feel like you were shot.

    • steve November 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      People should have to pay all their taxes up front, so they understand how much government is costing them. Then, when they see nonsense like this, they will very…. Unhappy.

  • […] little over a week ago, there was a MCT post discussing the newly released movie Red Dawn, a Michigan tax payer subsidized remake of the 80′s film of […]