Invasion U.S.A. Reviews
Matt Hunter is a former CIA agent that pissed off the wrong terrorist. He had a chance to kill the terrorist, but his mission called for him to be arrested, not killed, so Matt reluctantly restrained himself. The terrorist has returned and is on a mission to invade the USA; but first, he must use his militia to hunt down Matt and kill him. Matt is informed of the possible invasion and becomes a one-man army taking down the terrorist organization.
"As long as he's breathing he's a threat."
Joseph Zito, director of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Missing in Action, The Prowler, Red Scorpion, Power Play, and Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol, delivers Invasion U.S.A. The storyline for this picture is miserable, cliché, and Rambo in the United State (mixed with Cobra). The action scenes have a classic 80s feel to it and Norris is in classic form throughout the film.
"It's time to die."
I came across this on cable and decided to give it a viewing for giggles. This is classic Chuck Norris bad. The action and premise are over the top bad and the acting is equally disappointing. Overall, this is only worth seeing for diehard fans of the genre.
"I'm sick of frogs."
This one is filled to the brim with politics that will offend almost everybody in 2016 and so naturally I love it for that. Features some cool stunts and many explosions as well as a far-out plot about a patchwork of pseudo-revolutionary puritans who are disgusted by the decadence of Americans, invading the cities and suburbs and blowing everybody to smithereens.
Besides the obvious cheese quality my only real gripe is the clear hatred shown between Chuck Norris and Richard Lynch has zero context. Why the nemesis nature of the relationship? What happened? Besides his actions towards civilians it's hard to get on-board and root for Chuck because we don't know why Chuck hates Richard so much. Definitely a major plot hole.
Recommended with beers.
Predictably, Invasion U.S.A. has the exact same plot viewers have seen countless times before. The protagonist is a retired expert in the art of action who denies chances to return to the battle until someone attempts to assassinate him. The thing that makes this film different from all the others is the fact that as its title suggests, the subject matter relates to an invasion. This is not an entire country declaring war on America, this is a cold war-era tale of violent communism in which a gun-toting patriot must be sent in to protect the war on freedom. You'd think that there would be some extent of guilty pleasure in the patriotic intentions of the film and for the least-demanding fans of Chuck Norris films its bound to find a following. But as a comprehensive feature, it is far from gracious.
As ridiculous as it already sounds the story turns nonsensical very fast. After establishing that communists are the enemies, they manage to somehow Invade an American beach unseen and then inflict terrorism on suburban American neighbourhoods of all places. The viewer is left to determine their own answer as to why this is the case, but the cold hard fact is simply that Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus are notorious penny-pinchers who will do whatever it takes to avoid paying the ferryman. When the viewer quits questioning the internal logic in the story and realizes what is actually happening, they'll see that Invasion U.S.A. is simply a nonsensical collection of shootouts and explosions loosely tied together between sporadic shots of Chuck Norris' blank expression. The formula for this Chuck Norris vehicle ends up being the same one used in his superior film The Delta Force (1986) which also borrowed the entire premise from Menahem Golan's Operation Thunderbolt (1977). However, The Delta Force had a more versatile collection of action scenes than Invasion U.S.A. ends up having.
After an intro scene of Invasion U.S.A., there isn't any major action for a while. After a long wait of a poor excuse for plot building, the action unfolds in all its glory. The glory is minimal. There is actually a clever background to how Invasion U.S.A. got away with a low budget. Many of the major action scenes were shot at locations which were actually being demolished, allowing the producers to freely blow up all the scenery they desired. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly pave the way for the best action scenes. Since Invasion U.S.A. rests on the shoulders of its generic contract as a Chuck Norris film, it must be judged as such. Unfortunately, the film offers little aside from the sight of Chuck Norris holding two submachine guns tied around his neck with a belt.
Despite having a lot of genuine scenery to blow up, Invasion U.S.A. condemns viewers to live through the same basic action scenes over and over again in which the antagonists point missile launchers at buildings and let off a blank flash before explosions go off from inside the establishments and leave a lot of pretty lights with insufficient rubble. The lack of realism in why these buildings are being attacked is second only to the fact that it is clearly very artificial, and it means that the wait for it to all actually happen is extremely far from satisfaction. Anyone with half a brain could have disguised things a bit better with use of multiple camera angles and some fast editing, but with everything in Invasion U.S.A. being so cheap and slow the satisfaction is not achieved. Perhaps the final nail on the coffin for Invasion U.S.A.'s poor imagery is the fact that since the majority of the film happens at night, it almost all occurs underneath the burden of an abundance of shadow. It doesn't make things hard to see, but it prevents the presence of any colourful life taking over the production.
Ironically, the attempts to capitalize on these explosions with the use of slow-motion to prolong them ultimately gives viewers a greater opportunity to pick apart just how faulty they really are. The slow motion is used in practically very action scene in the film, preventing there from being a sense of fast-movement even when bullets are flying and punches are being thrown. If the film lost about 20 minutes of its pretentious excuse for plotting then maybe it could function as a faster film, but caught up in its attempts to pretend there is some kind of dramatic meaning at the heart of this Cannon Film, Joseph Zito wastes the time of too many people behind the camera and in front of the screen.
Chuck Norris is the only thing that stands about about Invasion U.S.A.. Were it not for his presence then it would become yet another forgettable Cannon Film, but his denim jacket, jeans and dual submachine gun-equipped neck belt give the film memorable imagery. Unfortunately, the man himself is actively underutilized. As good as he looks and as skilful he is at handling weapons and choreographing combat, he doesn't get to perform in any major good action scenes which really takes his major gimmicks away. And as well as that, he lacks any real badass nature. Almost lifeless in the role, Chuck Norris delivers not a single word of dialogue with anything but the lowest level of spirit in him. He seems fairly bored in the role, as if Joseph Zito got the last of his life out of him with Missing in Action (1984) and then attempted to beat the dead horse with Invasion U.S.A.. Chuck Norris's best talents come from his badass embodiment of the American spirit that hits from the south and his extensive martial arts training, but due to a lack of fight choreography and a script which has no major 80's movie zing, Matt Hunter ends up being a character as generic as his shopworn surname. Chuck Norris doesn't hit anything hard enough for a film that makes a big call with a title like Invasion U.S.A., but since the writers and directors fail to try any harder than him there is no spark from either side.
So Invasion U.S.A. puts Chuck Norris back into another Cannon Film and delivers absolutely minimal with an incomprehensibly ridiculous premise, sub-par action and a distinctive lack of patriotic spirit.
This invasion is so poorly planned that it's almost believable that it could be brought down by just one guy. Of course that one man army is played by Norris who works for some mysterious government group known only as "The Agency", brought out of retirement because the invasion is led by his arch enemy played by Richard Lynch. Their history is never explained, and you never figure out why his group of terrorists include Mexicans, Asians and Russians.
Those are only a few of the many questions this film leaves you with. Chuck always shows up within seconds of an attack, and the same thing is true about perky reporter Melissa Prophet, whose appearance in the movie adds nothing. She honestly serves no purpose here other than being the only female in the main cast.
The terrorists show up with a machine gun each, no rations or supplies to speak of, and more than once I wondered why the U.S. military doesn't get involved until the film's conclusion. At one point, Norris' boss even remarks, "You can't do it all yourself." This all adds up to make "Invasion U.S.A." a silly but entertainingly bad head-scractcher with plenty of explosions and gunfire but very little substance.
The very essence of the film can be summed up by the finale, an invasion on American soil that is resolved by a fist fight in the hallway of an office building. You have been warned.
Still great to watch.