#2. The Soviets Respect U.S. Freedom Fighters More Than the U.S. Does.
How's this for irony:
While the United States was taking its sweet time sending Special Forces to help, the Soviets were respecting the power of the Wolverines by sending in their own special forces to fight them.
After the tank battle we mentioned earlier, the Soviets send in Col. Strelnikov, aka "The Hunter," to fight the Wolverines. Strelnikov baits the Wolverines with food to launch a helicopter assault. While Strelnikov would die in the final battle, he succeeds in forcing the Eckert brothers to go on a suicide mission so that Erica and Danny could escape to liberated America. By the end, Strelnikov has defeated the Wolverines.
They rubbed the victory in the townsfolk's faces by going for Happy Meals and not bringing any back.
Meanwhile, Cuban Col. Bella catches up to Matt and Jed and raises his assault rifle to fire. But his disillusionment with war and respect for the boys prevails, and he waves them off, allowing them one final emotional moment together in the park before they die.
This sequence has to be the most damning of the entire film. In the end, the Soviet/Latin American invasion force learns to respect the toughness and tenacity of those all-American kids. The American military, meanwhile, doesn't give two shits about them.
WHERE'S THEIR PARADE?!
Just in case we miss this point, it's driven home in the final scene ...
#1. Even in Death, No One Cares
The films ends with a shot of Partisan Rock and a voice-over by Erica explaining that World War III ended. The flying American flag indicates that the United States won the war, and a memorial to the Wolverines shows that they were remembered.
Except that they aren't being remembered. Erica says, "I come to this place often, but no one else does." That includes Danny, the other surviving Wolverine, presumably. Did he have trouble adjusting and end up in a penitentiary like a veteran in a Bruce Springsteen song?
In fact, the memorial rock doesn't bear the insignia of the U.S. military, U.S. Park Service or any government agency. For all we know, Erica could have paid for the monument herself. Maybe she brings it every time she visits and sets it there before a security guard comes along and kicks it over.
Maybe Danny scared the security guard off?
So even if you launch guerrilla war and give your life so this nation shall not perish from the Earth, and bail out a military that apparently was too drunk to notice there was a war going on, no one will pay much attention. What the hell, Red Dawn? What was the message -- that we should have been more paranoid about the communists? That we should have spent more money on cruise missiles instead of blowing it on Medicare?
According to this scene, it wouldn't have mattered, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit since in the Red Dawn universe, America is horrible.
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Now that Red Dawn is successfully castrated, allow David Wong to do the same with Karate Kid, in How 'The Karate Kid' Ruined The Modern World. Or get some good ole 80s fun, in 6 Awesome 80s Movie Montages (That Make No Damn Sense).