First of all, the invasion of the US? We don’t see it. We are just told it happened, and then we get to watch everybody cry when they see their dad in a cage. Daddy, I loves you! Oh son, I loves you! Boo-hoo-hoo! My daddy’s in a big cage! And I loves him! Dude: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BORING MOVIE DAD. Also, you suck at acting. Please kill Russians. If memory serves, this “character development” crap goes on for approximately the entire history of time, before somebody finally kills a Russian. They shoot him with a bow and arrow or a hunting rifle or something, and that’s pretty much it. And then, it’s back to the cry-a-thon.I too saw Red Dawn around the age of ten, and remember it being disturbing and decidedly non-fun. To any true-hearted ten-year old boy (i.e., me, when I was ten), there's nothing worse than going to a friend's house for an all-nighter of action movies (the best the 1985-1990 era had to offer; we're talking lots of the Total Recall-type of late-80s mega-event pictures that could turn then-10-year old male brains into buzzing dopamine factories), having Red Dawn foisted upon us by a parent (not mine, thankfully) who swears we'll enjoy it, and then watching as Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen feel deep about things before tying their friend's limbs to four horses and tearing him asunder.
You're just not going to think it's that cool of a movie if the most ardent wish you've made in your life up to that point is to be there on opening afternoon for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
A much better movie involving a Communist invasion is Chuck Norris' incomprehensible masterpiece Invasion U.S.A. The whole movie is a protracted A-Team episode, only with corrupt small-town sheriffs replaced by an unholy alliance of Russians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, and people not dying replaced by lots of people dying. It doesn't get much better than when a small group of the invading Communists drive a K-Car alongside a schoolbus full of singing children and stick a time-bomb to the side of it, only to have Chuck drive behind them, pull the bomb off of the bus, catch up to the K-Car and throw the bomb in the open driver's side window just as it explodes. The only thing missing is the great Robert Z'Dar; the role of leader of a Communist invasion force should have been the one he was born to play.
(By the way, I can just assume you've already thanked me for not linking to or discussing any "little-known" Chuck Norris facts. You're welcome).
Anyhoo, the Poor Man's thoughts on this matter are really funny, and all relevant context is explained therein.