Red Dawn charges off to an exciting start as a war picture and then gets all confused in moralistic handwriting, finally sinking in the sunset.
Sometime in the future, the United States stands alone and vulnerable to attack, abandoned by its allies. Rather than an all-out nuclear war Soviet and Cuban forces bomb selectively and then launch a conventional invasion across the southern and northwest borders.
Dawn takes place entirely in a small town taken by surprise by paratroopers. Grabbing food and weapons on the run, a band of teens led by Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell makes it to the nearby mountains as the massacre continues below.
Swayze, Howell and the other youngsters are all good in their parts.