Tag Archives: Chuck Norris

The Delta Force (1986)

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Elite operation rescues crew.

Based on the real-life hijacking of TWA flight 847, which occurred on June 14, 1985, the story centers on a Boeing 707, which gets hijacked by a terrorist group lead by Abdul (Robert Forster).  The terrorists take over the plane and force it to fly to Beirut, Lebanon where they then separate the Jewish passengers and those that were in the Marines from the others. These hostages are then transported to a prison cell in Beirut while twelve other terrorists come on board. Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Colonel Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin) head the Delta Force team assigned to rescue the remaining passengers on board while killing off the terrorists.

The film was directed by Menahem  Golan who headed the Cannon Production Company which was notorious for producing a lot of cheap, cheesy, grade-B action flicks during the ‘80s and initially I was fearing the worst although this one is surprisingly tolerable and adequately funded. The opening scenes inside the plane prove to be moderately intense with Hanna Schygulla a stand-out as the brave stewardess.

The second act though veers off in too many directions with the hostages essentially becoming forgotten as it then focuses more on the elite squad of soldiers, which dilutes the narrative too much. Eventually they’re just too many characters to keep track of and too many scenarios that occur outside of the airplane until it becomes confusing and overreaching. A good film should stick to only a few main characters that the viewer can connect with and keeping them in the majority of the scenes, but this thing takes on more than it can chew making the viewer feel detached from what is going on the more it progresses.

The third act gets filled with a lot of over-the-top actions segments that looks like it was taken straight out of a comic book and diminishes the realism that had come before it. Norris shows no screen presence at all and only comes alive when he is doing an action stunt while Marvin, who was much older and not in the best of health during the production, shows much more onscreen energy. It almost seemed like it would’ve been better had Norris not been in it at all especially with the way the film tries to portray him as being this mystical, super human figure that borders on being corny.

The music is geared for an American propaganda film and the film’s mindset is that the US is always the good guy in no matter what foreign mission or policy it takes on. It also conveys the idea that might equals right while the proportion of terrorists who are killed, which is essentially all of them, compared to only one American soldier seemed way off-kilter.

Forster gives an outstanding performance as the villain as he literally disappears into role while conveying a foreign accent that seemed so genuine I almost thought his voice had been dubbed. The terrorists are portrayed as being just as nervous as the hostages if not more so, while at certain random moments showing a surprisingly human side, which is well done, but unfortunately everything else here is formulaic and fraught with too much of an emotional appeal.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: February 14, 1986

Runtime: 2Hours 9Minutes

Rated R

Director: Menahem Golan

Studio: Cannon Film Distributors

Available: DVD, Amazon Video, YouTube

Forced Vengeance (1982)

forced vengeance

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 2 out of 10

4-Word Review: Too much Chuck Norris.

Josh Randall (Chuck Norris) works as a security guard at a Hong Kong casino run by Sam (David Opatoshu) and his son David (Frank Michael Liu). Stan Ramiondi (Michael Cavanaugh) approaches the two men about purchasing the casino from them, but Sam refuses due to Stan’s connections to organized crime, which makes Stan very upset. Soon Sam and David are found dead and Josh goes on a vengeance to seek justice, but it proves difficult because Stan seems to have spies and hit men everywhere who are more than willing to take Josh down.

The production seems less like a movie and more like a vehicle showcasing what a tough guy/stud Norris is. The characterizations are too broad and the meager plot is predictable and formulaic. I found it hard to get into and seemed to lose interest the more it progressed. Anyone looking for even an ounce of sophistication will surely be disappointed. Adding some humor might have helped. Norris’s voice-over narration has some, but it is definitely not enough.

The fight scenes really don’t add much. There are just so many high kicks one can watch before that becomes as monotonous as everything else. Showing some of it in slow motion only makes it cheesier. The fights also have too much of a predictable quality with the big bad guys standing dumbfounded while Norris kicks their ass. In fact the only fight sequence that was interesting is the one in which Norris is not in. There is also one fight shown at the beginning over the opening credits that gets repeated later in the movie, which makes it very redundant. The loud, booming music, which was done to somehow create tension, instead becomes obnoxious.

The acting is overall wooden and the dialogue is dull and uninspired. Even the old pros seem to be phoning in their parts. Norris in particular speaks in the same monotone voice and his face remains expressionless throughout. The only performance that I liked was that of Cavanaugh’s and that was because he has the perfect looking face for a bad guy especially with those clear blue eyes. In fact he has more than a passing resemblance to Terence Stamp and the fight that he has with Norris at the end while on a boat and using a wooden hook is mildly engaging.

The on-location shooting done in Hong Kong and the opening shot showing Hong Kong’s sprawling skyline is impressive, but everything else is not and I found this to be a real chore to sit through.

My Rating: 2 out of 10

Released: July 30, 1982

Runtime: 1Hour 30Minutes

Rated R

Director: James Fargo

Studio: MGM

Available: VHS, DVD, Amazon Instant Video