Sometimes you don't need a big army to resist an enemy occupation - especially when you are dealing with Chris Hemsworth (Thor from The Avengers), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games) and Josh Peck.
"Well we are fighting an entire army, so that definitely stacks the odds against us," says Hutcherson of his role in Red Dawn due out Nov. 21. "But it does help to have a superhero on your side."
Even if the stars couldn't tap into their alter movie personalities for this remake of the 1984 invasion film, Peck acknowledges: "We got a lot of firepower on our side."
The original Cold War film featured a troupe of then up-and-coming stars - including Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and her future Dirty Dancing co-star Patrick Swayze - defending their Midwestern town from the Soviets.
The remake has moved the location to a Washington state high school under siege, but the same eye for emerging talent remains. When the film was shot in 2009, Hutcherson had not yet been cast in Hunger Games and the closely-cropped Hemsworth was just training for Thor. Red Dawn's release was delayed because of financial problems at MGM, the film's distributor.
"And their careers have blown up," says Peck, who plays the younger brother to Hemsworth's Marine character in the film. "It's pretty dope to see what's happened to Josh and Chris over the last three years."
The Red Dawn enemy assailant has changed as well during the delay, with filmmakers re-editing and digitally altering the finished film.
"Originally it was the Chinese," says Hutcherson. "And then there was the thought that the Chinese own most of the companies making movies and that maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world."
In the end, the attacking forces became the North Koreans (aided by the Chinese and Russians). Meanwhile, the members of the small-town high school "put aside our John-Hughes-Breakfast-Club differences and unite" to fight off the attack, says Peck.
The youngsters form a resistance group called "The Wolverines," which includes Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas and Connor Cruise. They show off their chops in an ambush scene that recalls the original movie.
"There's the spider-trap moment when we just appear out of the ground," says Peck. "Red Dawn fans are going to be blown out by it."
Hutcherson plays Cruise's best friend in the film and was impressed with his "gung-ho" co-star. "He definitely takes after his Dad (Tom Cruise) in the action department, 100%," says Hutcherson.
While he enjoys his onscreen bromance with Cruise, Hutcherson doesn't get a romance in the film. It's not a bad thing as he gears up for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
"I've got to save all my love for Katniss Everdeen," he says.