Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money has a wonderful review of "Red Dawn." The review, and some of the better comments, does a nice job of exploring the strange genius of writer/director John Milius. Even though the script is, at many junctures, just a recitation of right wing talking points, Milius has clearly got some talents as a director, as evidenced by the scary scene in which a Soviet Mi-24 "Hind" helicopter pumps some daylight into C. Thomas Howell. One of the commenters informs us that Milius wrote Quint's monologue in "Jaws" about the U.S.S. Indianapolis -- one of the best scenes in that film -- but also suggested the modern-day bookends in "Saving Private Ryan" when Ryan asks his wife if he's been a good man -- undoubtedly the worst scenes in that movie.
One of the better observations about "Red Dawn," however, is that it's actually a pretty good piece of agit-prop. When asked why the kids are fighting and what makes them morally superior to the Soviet invaders, Patrick Swayze's character answers, "We live here." It wouldn't take too much editing to remake this movie as a recruiting tool for Iraqi insurgents today.