Not just any Chuck Norris classic, either... The mother of all Chuck Norris classics - The Delta Force.
In the mid 1980s, we were in a pretty interesting time. The Cold War was starting to slow down a bit as the USSR had a leader who was no longer seemingly interested in being our enemy. The Monkees were celebrating their 20th anniversary. Ronald Reagan was in charge and patriotism seemed to be at an all time high.
This was also the beginning of what I will call the "Muslim Scare". Terrorism and airplane hijackings were becoming a pretty popular way to threaten the western world. In our movies, we were seeing the rise of the action stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. At Cannon, though, they had their own action star in Chuck Norris, and he represented the best of what the USA was all about - bazookas, uzis, beards, kung fu, poor line delivery.
We need to get moving on this movie because, frankly, this movie is 2 hours and 10 minutes, and I'm already antsy to get rolling on it. So, let's get to the description on the back of the box: "When a U.S. passenger plane is seized by vicious hijackers and taken to Beirut, the president calls in the Delta Force - a crack team of commandos led by Colonel Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin) and Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris). Against all odds, the men black into the compound and - taking no prisoners - rescue the hostages. But the mission is not yet over. A few remaining passengers are being 'escorted' to Tehrain, initiating a desperate race against time as Alexander and McCoy try to save them - and avenge America's honor - before it is too late."
Oh shit! This sounds brazenly patriotic, doesn't it? Let's all start the "USA... USA..." chant! Nah, we don't have to do that, but we should probably start avenging America's honor by getting started on this movie...
Right off the bat, I love that my DVD is in pan and scan. That's kinda amazing.
So in April of 1980, the Delta Force gets busy on blowing some shit up and generally killing everyone, but as they are trying to move out, a member of Delta Force is stuck in a flaming chopper. McCoy, because he is Chuck Norris, is having none of that. He goes to save the trapped man and he gets him to safety at the very last second before they lift off the ground to head back home. All the while the best ever action movie theme song is swelling under the fucking awesome heroism of Chuck Norris.
However, we learn that this mission is a failure as the Delta Force (as reported by a news broadcast, but referred to as a secret group within the Army - don't ask me how they would know about it though) was trying to save some hostages in Tehrain, but after members of their group were killed, and McCoy saying he was against the idea the doing the mission at night, this was to be the end of McCoy's run with the team.
|Punk Rock Stewardess (one of our main characters on the plane).|
Flash forward to the present and we're introduced to two Jewish couples (one couple played by Martin Balsam and Shelly Winters) who are flying back to America from Israel. We're also introduced to all the bad guys, kinda, and to a bunch of people on the plane. I say we are only kinda introduced to the bad guys because we just see them as greasy Middle Eastern guys. So they must be bad, right?
So, anyway, the greasy bad guys take over the plane. The captain of the plane is told to take the plane to Beirut. He hits switch and notifies the air traffic controller that it's a hijack (the switch just said "Emergency", but I guess that's the same as "Holy Fucking Shit We're Being Hijacked, Motherfuckers!!!"). The Pentagon reacts quickly and Lee Marvin is called in to save the day by Robert Vaughn.
At this point, you're also getting a real idea of what we're going to have to sit through for a long time before we get to Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin blasting the fuck out of bad guys. This movie is slow paced and spending a lot of time on this damn airplane. With bad guys being mean and making things tense. It's intercut with scenes of Delta Force mobilizing.
So the hijackers find out there are "Israelis" on board, and as you know, Muslims hate Jewish people. They also find out there are three Marines on board, and the real itchy hijacker is none-too-pleased about this either because he blames the US for bombing Beirut. Punk Rock Stewardess is told to go through all the passports, and pick out the Jewish names. She refuses because she's German, and, as you know, Germans are pretty nervous about being told to pick out Jews.
Finally, McCoy returns to Delta Force, despite actually quitting as he said before. However, since we've spent 25 of the 30 minutes of this movie on the plane, we're not really dealing with any real stakes of McCoy returning other than that it's Chuck Fucking Norris, and we get more of that SUPER awesome theme song. Anyway, Delta Force lifts off to save the day.
On the plane, Puck Rock Stewardess calls the Jewish passengers to the first class cabin because if she doesn't, the Navy Marine guys will be killed. George Kennedy, who is a priest, stands up for everyone by saying they can't just take some Jews, because he is "Jewish like Jesus Christ". I think that is to mean if people are Christian, they can't be separated from the Jews as a way to save their lives, but I'm not religious so I can't say if that is what is really going on.
As the plane comes in for a landing in Beirut, the Lebanese government tries to prevent them from coming into the country. When they are denied, Abdul starts beating on one of the soldiers held captive until Lebanon finally grants them the ability to land. Abdul's brother tries to work with him to get them to move on their way and have them release the women and children, but he doesn't. More terrorists board the plane transport all but one of the soldiers to a compound in the center of Beirut, and the plane takes back off.
The Delta Force lands and their theme song comes with them. As they set up their command center, they get a call from Robert Vaughn and when Lee Marvin gets on the phone, this creates one of the best damn moments in cinematic history. Not like when Rey force grabbed the lightsaber from Kylo Ren or when Hulk smashed the shit out of Loki. No. This is so wonderful because it is so damn stupid:
Yes, in 1986, The Delta Force took their orders from a video phone. You know, a thing that barely works today in a building dripping with Wi-Fi. Well, in 1986, in a broken down bunker of a base, in Tehrain, the Delta Force had a fucking video phone. Bravo movie. Bravo Cannon!
I'm kind of hoping video phone is the beginning to some balls to the wall, Chuck Norris action. This movie is an hour old now and it is still posturing as a tense political thriller. It's not so much that the movie is really that as much as it is a very stilted Muslim bad guys vs. Jews and Americans movie that would give Donald Trump a raging hard on.
The terrorists release the women and children and Chuck Norris is ready attack the plane to take out the bad guys. His team is to wait until the women and children are far away from the plane. Lee Marvin says they can't attack, much to the dismay of Chuck Norris. A few minutes later, Chuck Norris gets the call to take them down.
And now, like Donald Trump, I have a raging hard on to see Chuck Norris kick some bad guy ass.
In Beirut, Chuck Norris and another Delta Force guy comes in as Canadian journalists covering the hijacking. They meet up with an Orthodox Christian priest who is able to take them to Abdul's hideout where he's keeping the hostages they took off the plane earlier. When the priest is taken inside himself, he tries to warn Chuck and the other guy only to be killed and thus starting a chase through downtown Beirut. The other guy drives while Chuck hangs out the side shooting machine guns and stuff and this is when I start to feel that blissful feeling come over me. THIS is what I signed up for - theme song playing while cars are racing down the street and Chuck Norris is shooting bad guys. Fuck yes.
That night, Delta Force lands on the beach in Beirut, and they begin their attack on the terrorists' base. Chuck Norris leads a few people through a sewage pipe while Lee Marvin takes most the team through the direct route. When Chuck's group breaks into the compound and kills the terrorists holding the hostages, Lee Marvin's group springs into action. While Lee Marvin's group has a bunch of badass vehicles with weapons of their own as if they were from the cartoon M.A.S.K., we now get to see Chuck Norris surgically cutting his way through an enemy compound and shooting people and punching/kicking people and saying catchphrases not so well. All the while that fucking amazing theme song is playing.
After nearly 90 minutes of tense political/religious drama, shit gets real. By that, I mean EVERYTHING starts blowing up. Grenades, bazookas, missiles. Holy shit this movie is now hitting home runs with every swing it takes. I don't think any Delta Force guys die either. I mean one guy shielded the hostages from a grenade and STILL survived. Let's start that USA chant...
As the sun rises, Chuck Norris heads off the terrorists trying to transport hostages to a different place. Single handily, Chuck Norris wins. Why? He's fucking Chuck Norris. That's why. He uses these little rockets on his motorcycle to keep cutting off the terrorists and blow up the lead vehicle. He finally discards the bike and punches his way onto the truck with the hostages and, with the help of one of the Naval guys, Karate-fucks a guy to the ground, and, ultimately, to death. Sadly, though, one of Chuck's Delta Force buddies takes a hit from Abdul.
|How Chuck Norris comes home every day after ass kicking|
Once the hand to hand combat portion of the battle against Abdul begins, do you actually believe Robert Forster has any shot against Chuck Norris? The answer is pretty much no. So he has to run away, which Chuck kicks his way through the window to punch him some more. Chuck goes back to get his bike while Abdul tries to pick up a gun to kill him, but this is one of those M.A.S.K. bikes. He shoots this little tiny missile out and blows up Robert Forster. Chuck Norris literally blew up Robert Forster. The guy who is going around in Hollywood and such calling himself Robert Forster is a different guy hired to be the new Robert Forster. Chuck Norris killed Robert Forster. With a tiny missile. From the back of a M.A.S.K. bike.
The Delta Force tries to get everyone on the plane and get them out as quickly as possible but Chuck Norris isn't there yet! Lee Marvin makes the call that they have to go, but Chuck Norris comes riding in on his M.A.S.K. bike blowing the fuck out of bad guys. Guess what? He uses those little missiles and catches up to the plane and gets on like a true fucking action star.
Sadly, Chuck's Delta Force buddy died. He's also the ONLY good guy to die. I was kinda hoping for Chuck to punch the bullets in his buddy's chest out of him. Some things even Superman can't do.
There's literally nothing else to say about the movie. But I have to ponder one final thing... Would playing the theme song while having sex make that sex the best ever?
The answer I landed on was fuck yes it would.