Delta Force - Movie Review


Delta Force - Movie Review
Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin and Explosions!

Delta Force - 4/10

Cannon Film Group was the epitome of the Eighties. The parties, the lifestyle and the excess that all came with making movies is everything that Cannon Films was all about. They made some great films and they made some absolutely absurd films (Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo, anyone?). But they never shied away from what they wanted to do. The problem is that they made bad financial decisions when it came to movie making. Leveraging one film to get another film made, regardless of how those movies did at the box office, the idea behind their thinking was that they only needed a couple of box office blockbusters per  year to continue to make their movies.

Unfortunately, the idea behind it was bad. Golan and Globus were (are) good business men. They just didn't really seem to communicate with each other when it came to money. One was making the movies (Golan) while the other was the negotiator/business guy (Globus). What should have made for a powerful company, imploded because of bad movies and bad investments.

One of those bad movies was Delta Force. Starring Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin, it was another of those action movies, like most, that was influenced by a real life event. In this case, it was the hijacking of TWA flight 847. We all know how Hollywood works, take an interesting story, "'Merica the hell out of it" and make sure that there's a happy ending. You can't go wrong when an ending to movie includes a full on kegger while the plane heads for home.

The set up for the movie works like this. Chuck Norris plays Cpt. Scott McCoy, a member of the elite Delta Force, which is a group of soldiers that are the best of the best (the Army version of the Navy SEALS) and as the film opens, Norris and his Delta Force buddies are in the middle of Operation Eagle Claw, but the mission gets scrapped after a fatal helicopter accident compromises them. The accident causes the Delta Force to evacuate their C-130 plane, but Norris can't leave anyone behind, so against orders, he runs into the wreckage to look for survivors and rescues his buddy Peterson (William Wallace) before the team is finally evacuated. Disgusted with the politicians and the military red tape that are ruining the armed services, Norris decides that it's time to hang up his guns and retire.

Cut to five years later, there's a commercial airline that has been hijacked and Norris is called back to duty, because he's the best of the best and his speciality is kicking terrorist faces off and riding motorcycles while firing rockets from them. It's a unique speciality and one that Norris excels at. Aside from karate chopping through throngs of terrorists.

The hijackers land the plane in Beirut, separate the Jewish people from the rest of the passengers and take them off the plane to a secret location. The terrorists then take the rest of the hostages, fly to Algiers, where they release the females and the children. Why? Why, in Algiers of all places, did the terrorists decide to drop off the hostages there?

Fortunately, Norris and Marvin are there to try to save the day, but are shocked to learn that there were more terrorists on board the plane than they realize. The terrorists kill a Navy SEAL and then fly that bird out of Algiers and head back to Beirut. Where Norris and Marvin follow them. To make a long review short, Marvin stays behind to fight and win the day against the terrorists that have taken the plane, while Norris tracks down the leaders of the group and beard-fist punches them into submission, then shoots a rocket at them from his motorcycle (his speciality) and for good measure, kicks dirt on the body.

Ok, so this movie isn't that good. However, it's actually fun to watch, 30 years removed from when it came out. You can tell that Cannon was really into making these types of films and Norris seemed bored with the whole process and that's what makes this film a failure. Everybody, except Norris, buys into the characters. Norris seems to be just going through the motions. Maybe that's why Norris wasn't given a lot of roles for other movies. Maybe the casting directors saw something in Norris that they weren't sure about and that he really doesn't care about acting or character growth, just give him a script and let him go.

Delta Force is just another in a long line of action movies that really didn't need to be made. They should have just stuck with calling these movies M.I.A (part whatever) and then add the title of the movie (Invasion U.S.A., Delta Force, etc etc). It's a shame that Norris didn't get to be in other movies beyond the action/adventure genre, unlike Lee Marvin. Norris is just a one note wonder, if you're good at something stick to it, I guess. But the question remains, why continue to do low budget crappy action movies, if you're just going through the motions?

The Delta Force (1986)
R | 2h 5min | Action, Adventure, Drama | 14 February 1986 (USA)

A 707 aircraft jetliner on its way from Athens to Rome and then to New York City is hijacked by Lebanese terrorists. The terrorists demand that the pilot take them to Beirut.
Director: Menahem Golan
Writers: James Bruner, Menahem Golan
Stars: Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Martin Balsam