Ryan’s review published on Letterboxd:
“America’s number one, bitch!”
the bones of the story are really interesting. a squad of national guard trainees preparing for the war in the Middle East get sidetracked from their combat training and instead are forced to confront a different enemy born from American imperialism.
afterward I was pleased to discover that the screenplay was written by Wes Craven and his son, Jonathan. that info makes it a lot less surprising that the script is the best thing going on here. the mutant makeup and gore effects were also a lot of fun and certainly era-appropriate since a lot of the horror from the time was just a big bloody pissing contest of who can be the grossest.
some additional scatter-brained thoughts:
1) mutants, descendants of coal miners whose gene pool has been wrecked by radiation resulting from government nuclear tests, hunting soldiers who were preparing to fight in a war the origins of which can be traced back to..........the conflict that the U.S. was testing nukes for in the first place. time is a flat circle.
2) like the 2006 remake, this includes an unlikeable protagonist whose arc turns him from a milquetoast passivist to a “survive by any means” hero who ends up committing some of the grisliest violence out of anyone. I don’t know exactly what to make of this or how it fits in either story, just kind of an observation.