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05/28/2014

Awful Action movie review: Delta Force "holds up"

In the beginning, I dreamt of becoming a philanthropic millionaire who raised money for the exceptionally wealthy, but it was also my fantasy to review bad movies for Croatian-language underground publications. I was originally slated to replace Gene Shalit on the Today Show, but Deborah Norville cut me out and Matt Lauer still refuses to speak to me over a dispute over our shared investment of a camel in Qatar.

MV5BMTM3NzY5MTg3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjAwODM2NA@@._V1_SX214_AL_So it is with great pleasure, distinction, and very likely the disappointment of the Star-Telegram, I am trying a new addition to this twice-award winning blog: Awful Action Movie reviews.

These are the movies that have long since fallen out of circulation, but endure on Netflix, Hulu Plus, or on cable at 3 a.m., or throughout the weekends. 

DELTA FORCE (1986)
Starring: Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Martin Balsam, Joey Bishop, Robert Forster, George Kennedy, Shelley Winters, Robert Vaughn

The Story: Really? Who cares? This is when Chuck was in his prime; anything he touched turned into movie gold. Along with Lee Marvin, who looks like he was roughly 93 when this was filmed, Chuck leads an elite group of American soldiers - The Delta Force. Their mission: Bring home hostages on a plane taken by Middle Eastern terrorists. 

Real Backstory: This movie is based loooooooosely on the real-life hijacking of TWA flight 847 that occured in 1985 by members of Hezbollah. The movie actually grabs a few pretty major details from that ordeal - including the murder of a Navy Seal that was on board, to the separation of passengers with Jewish sounding names. There was no raid by American forces of that flight; instead, film producers used another raid conducted in the mid '70s as the basis for the finale.

UnknownAction scenes: Pretty standard '80s gun play with heroic synthethizer music in the background. Tons of explosions. Lots of AK-47 fire. Some solid RPG stuff in here, too. The best part? No gun has any recoil, or runs out of ammo.
The hijacking scene is actually compelling, and the scene where the terrorists seperate the passengers with the Jewish sounding names from the rest is quite effective.

What stands out today: No question, the feathered-hair Chuck Norris riding around on a motorcycle that has rockets and machine guns remains Chucktastic. In the climax where Chuck confronts, and karate-kicks the big bad guy, he never takes a scratch. Because as we all know, Chuck Norris doesn't scratch.

Great Quote: "Sleep tight, sucker." - Chuck Norris' Major Scott McCoy

Ironic laughter potential: Not as high as some, although the volume of name, established Hollywood actors who put their name on this piece of crap is impressive. What in God's name is Shelley Winters, who won on Oscar for her role in The Diary Of Anne Frank, doing in the same movie as Chuck Norris?

How "awful" is it? For a bad '80s action movie, Delta Force actually endures and is worth watching at 3 a.m. when you can't sleep.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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