Movie Review – Delta Force, The (Mini Review)

Principal Cast : Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Robert Vaughn, Steve James, William Wallace, Jerry Weinstock, Robert Forster, David Menahem, Shaike Ophir, Uri Gavriel, Bo Svenson, Hanna Schygulla, Martin Balsam, Shelley Winters, Joey Bishop, Lainie Kazan, George Kennedy, Kim Delaney, Chelli Goldenberg, Charles Floye.
Synopsis: After a commercial airliner is hijacked by terrorists, The Delta Force is sent in to resolve the crisis.


The Delta Force is the movie you watch with a gun in one hand and your dick in the other while a Bald Eagle circles overhead and a bikini model drapes herself over the hood of a Chevrolet. A giant American militaristic testosterone-fantasy writ large thanks to Cannon Films co-owner and director Menahem Golem, The Delta Force is Chuck Norris at his 80’s best – kicking ass, blowing up assholes, and generally tearing the shit out of the Middle East. Although the film is as racist and stereotypical as they come, and Robert Forster’s hiss-worthy performance as the film’s central villain is problematic in any number of ways, the film’s shoot-first orgasmic excess with guns and rescuing hostages, themes that ran parallel to a clutch of real world events back in the 80’s, is an wantonly orgiastic, laughably idiotic and entirely juvenile action outing. That it’s so much goddam fun is something of a surprise.

I admit to plenty of bias with The Delta Force; I rewatched this film countless times on my paused-out-the-commercials VHS broadcast recording back in the late 80’s, a broadcast which, to my mind, wasn’t censored much at all in retrospect. Gleefully sadistic with its presentation of “Generic Arabs” getting slaughtered by a legion of US Delta special ops guys, The Delta Force is brute force black and white storytelling, torn from the newspaper headlines of the era and redolent of any number of thematic subtexts including fascism, the rise of terrorism as a global threat, and the ubiquity – perceived or otherwise – of America’s influence on the affairs of other countries. Norris plays square-jawed Delta Major Scott McCoy, as hardassed as you can get, and he glowers, punches, shoots and blasts his way through a series of militaristic vignettes in service of a pretty weak hostage scenario storyline. Robert Forster’s Abdul, the leader of the terrorists, is archetypal in his simplistic development and in truth his motivations and backstory amount to almost nothing. But it matters not – Alan Silvestric’s dick-hardening main theme, the accompanying electronic score, and David Gurfinkel’s brightly lit cinematography ensure you not only see what’s happening in crystal clear shots but also have your heart explode with patriotic fervour the moment the low drum beat kicks in to begin the soaring melody. This is a perfect B-movie – it’s not a great film but it’s a heck of a lot of stupid, absolutely bananas fun, filled with contrivances and plot leaps that make most people’s head spin. If nothing else, worth a look for the score, and to see Chuck Norris absolutely eating all the cheese as the emblematic American symbol of hope and revenge, leading Lee Marvin’s The Delta Force for all he’s worth. An absolute classic, whether you think so or not.

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