The cheesy script posits yet another doomsday scenario: What if America was to be invaded by a foreign power, giving her a taste of her own overseas military misadventures? Without warning, thousands of North Korean soldiers descend on a little town in Washington State.
Interestingly, the attackers were originally supposed to be from China but were changed to North Koreans in post-production, reportedly to avoid alienating film distributors in the lucrative Chinese market. A group of self-righteous American teenagers, led by a US marine (Hemsworth), band together to defend their homeland.
The impromptu insurgents are determined to vanquish the enemy, never mind that they are a vastly superior force. Making his first feature film, former stunt coordinator Dan Bradley is nothing if not earnest. Unfortunately, credible characters or any sense of drama are conspicuous by their absence.
There are a couple of clever touches such as the confinement of the US prisoners in the football field which resembles the Guantanamo detention facility. The action sequences are a hodgepodge of automatic weapons blast, slack cinematography and big budget mayhem.
A sub-plot involving the relationship between a high-school footballer (Peck) and his cheerleader girlfriend (Isabel Lucas) is superficial. Basically a wish-fulfillment fantasy, Red Dawn overstays its welcome despite a relatively short duration of 93 minutes.