The Delta Force Reviews
Plane hijacked. Terrorists demand trip to Beirut. Elite team of commandoes figures a way to intersect. Surprisingly good (if uneven) comic-book action yarn, with good role for Chuck. Followed by a sequel
This movie is exactly 40 minutes to long. The first hour is focused on a very sweaty hijacking. Two guys take over a plane with 144 passengers. Since Menahem Golan (the director) is an Israeli, there is a scene where the Jews are rounded up.The guys playing the terrorist look like Norm MacDonald and Jason Manzoukis. After what seems like forever,the plan lands in Beirut. That's when the Delta Force goes into action. A dogpile could have stopped this hijacking dead in its tracks.
The Delta Force itself is maybe 50 guys crowded into a tight space.For some reason they all use Uzis and not rifles.They have dune buggies and motorcycles with rockets attached to them. They have no snipers.
The last 40 minutes is an over the top commando battle. For some reason the Lebanese terrorists decided to fortify their base with red barrels. A sweeping fire of Uzi bullets can take out 3 guys at once and cause an explosion.
Chuck Norris is barely in this movie. He gets the last scene and kill with his motorcycle. The most bizarre scene is when he stops the hostage convoy from driving to Iran. It's just him on a motorcycle. Two jeeps are blown up by small rockets. Instead of the 30 guys firing at him with their AK-47s,they panic and retreat. A runner up is the scene with Chuck and Lee Marvin blow up a Jeep with bazookas. They stand there crowing about it as 100 guys charge at them with rifles.
This movie is a mess. I think it is worth a view just to see how disjointed it is. A word of warning. The Delta Force theme is synth garbage. It is played like the NFL on CBS them, often enough to make you press mute.
Everything about The Delta Force screams 1980's. The film has the ensemble cast of a disaster film being dragged into a thriller situation before they must be rescued by Lee Marvin with his sniper and Chuck Norris with his missile launcher motorcycle. All this occurs within the context of a Cannon Films production, the company notorious in the 1980's for producing countless low-budget action guilty pleasures of mixed quality, and the most prominent figure of the studio is the director. Menahem Golan helms The Delta Force and uses everything he has learned as a director to construct it, combining the Academy Award nominated skills he used on Operation Thunderbolt with his eye for strong action. It is clear that Operation Thunderbolt was key in the production of The Delta Force because the two films share a similar plotline, but this time they serve as a front for him to really put everything he loves about filmmaking into overdrive.
Building off an Operation Thunderbolt-inspired premise, The Delta Force begins by immediately setting the mood for viewers with patriotic soldiers escaping explosions while Scott McCoy goes back to rescue his friend. This sets the mood for the film before it progresses into being a thriller full of different character archetypes and religious undertones. The film attempts to build drama with its numerous different characters by giving them all a story, even if it is a simplistic one. Some of the plot dynamics such as the story point about a German stewardess being forced to sort through the passenger passports to identify the Jewish crowds is genuinely dramatic. This means that the film doesn't go into action overdrive for a while, and this might disappoint some viewers. The Delta Force is neither a completely shallow action vehicle or a groundbreaking political thriller, but rather a combination of the two. SO viewers who expect it to be entirely one or the other will be disappointed. For me, I appreciated the combination and consider it to be a big step forward for Menahem Golan as a filmmaker. But I will admit that the man does remain largely an amateur filmmaker. Despite combining the aforementioned two central film elements into a singular narrative, they end up as bricolage rather than as an amalgamation which quite literally splits film the film into two. The first half of the film is the thriller based plot building and the second half is the extensive period of action sequences. As much as I enjoyed the drama, I felt like it was a bit of a stretch for an hour while I was waiting for Chuck Norris to start kicking ass and that the plot had eventually just declined into being a literal remake of everything explored in Operation Thunderbolt with little else to offer aside from different character archetypes.
The first major action scene in the film does not actually occur until after more than an hour into the film, and even then it is extremely brief before the film goes back to slow plot building as it progresses closer to the action climax. As exciting as the action proves to be, the damage is already done by the time that it actually happens. As a result, this two-hour Cannon film is no longer one that I can give a five star recommendation to. However, I will admit that the action itself is pretty awesome. Despite the quantity of action being insufficient to me, Menahem Golan's keen eye for strong B-movie action ensures that The Delta Force has competently staged action of explosive calibre playing out against the backdrop of its convincing scenery. Despite a low-budget, the action in The Delta Force feels fairly large scale and is exciting due to its explosion-heavy nature. The cinematography captures it all in a basic manner which ensures there is enough medium-long shots which keep everything clearly in frame while the editing keeps things focused without being too quick. And in keeping the atmosphere up with the faster pace of the action scenes, The Delta Force boasts an awesome musical score by Alan Silvestri as it's finest element. The musical score in The Delta Force makes heavy use of the same piece again and again which is the theme song to the movie. You would think that it gets repetitive, but in actual fact it is so 80's and so patriotic that it never gets old. The theme song in The Delta Force is unforgettable.
And though The Delta Force does not have a prime screenplay, the cast know exactly what they're doing.
Chuck Norris lights up the screen anytime he is on it. The man doesn't mess around because he knows exactly what Scott McCoy needs to be. He has to be a hard edged and emotionless patriot who kicks ass every minute of the day, be it through hand to hand combat, vehicular chases or gunfight. Chuck Norris delivers on all three fronts, and though he doesn't have too much to say he delivers his lines with the exact kind of basic hard edged spirit you would expect. Any time Chuck Norris is around in The Delta Force, the film is good. So the film is certainly an effective vehicle for him.
Lee Marvin is also welcome. In his last screen appearance before his death, Lee Marvin takes on the role of the military mentor archetype to Chuck Norris' protagonist, and he brings his legacy al0ong with him. So seeing him grasp weaponry delivers memories of his heyday while teaming him up with Chuck Norris is almost like him passing along the torch. Lee Marvin brings his name to The Delta Force which is enough, but he also captures the archetypal nature of his character with natural dramatic charisma and a real sense of command over each of the soldiers around him.
The presence of accomplished actors like George Kennedy and Robert Vaughn is also welcome because it brings a sense of nostalgia to the film.
So The Delta Force did not appeal to me as much as it did during my younger days due to my greater awareness of its recycled plot, slow pace and a need to fill more of the running time with action, but with Menahem Golan delivering the goods with Chuck Norris in front of the camera there remains enough of a guilty pleasure to recommend.
"The Delta Force" is a classic 80īs Golan-Globus/Canon Films production that starts off with a quite intense hijacking of an airline that turns into an american patriotic stereotypical dribble with Chuck Norris coming to the rescue with a truly misplaced 80īs soundtrack blasting away in the speakers. This was obviously a big budget movie directed by Menahem Golan himself with an all-star ensemble in the shape of Lee Marvin, Robert Forster, Martin Balsam, Joey Bishop, George Kennedy, Susan Strasberg, Bo Svenson, Robert Vaughn, Shelley Winters, and a young Kim Delaney. As said Chuck Norris is what he is, and unfortunately Lee Marvin was not well in his last role and you can see he is not in his best shape even if he tries to keep his character alive and kicking. However itīs Robert Forster who steals the film as the hard knuckled terrorist leader Abdul Rafai. The action is cartoony and ridiculous in some scenes, intense and more "real" in other scenes. The film is unbalanced in many ways and itīs almost like you watch two movies having been edited together. I think itīs quite interesting as well to see how the Palestinians are portrayed in the film directed by the israelan Menahem Golan. Letīs say itīs quite obvious thereīs a political agenda behind the film. Right or wrong, thatīs not for me to say, but itīs obvious for sure. In the end "The Delta Force" is just a bad 80īs actioneer and it feels truly outdated in 2015.
The film screams low budget but then things start blowing up and you begin to realise... someone spent a decent amount of cash making this movie. So you sit back, turn off the brain, and watch the carnage unfold as chuck Norris, Lee Marvin and many other familiar faces start going to town on terrorists.
And to make things even better, the film is based on true events... even if it's very loosely so.
If you like war type action films I'd give The Delta Force a go. I enjoy it :)
A group of Lebanese terrorists have hijacked a 707 airplane on its way from Italy to New York. They intend on landing and eventually destroying the White House. The American president has sent in the Delta Force, led by former Vietnam associates Major Scott McCoy and Colonel Nick Alexander, to intercept the terrorists and stop them from coming to America. Can the Delta Force stop the terrorist attack?
"We would have got divorced years ago, but neither one of us wanted custody of our kids!"
Menahem Golan, director of Over the Top, Death Game, Open Heart, Final Combat, Deadly Heroes, Days of Love, Mack the Knife, and Over the Brooklyn Bridge, delivers Delta Force. The storyline for this picture is fairly terrible but had an eerie 9/11 feel to it. The explosions were cool but far from the best from the action genre from this era. The acting and script were pathetic and the cast includes Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, George Kennedy, Robert Vaughn, Susan Strasberg, and Shelley Winters.
"Anyone ever accuse you of being a gentleman, Nick?"
For some unknown reason, I started watching these old Chuck Norris films occasionally off Netflix. I can tell you this is as bad as you'd expect. The explosions were for the sake of explosions; and in all honesty, Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris aren't in the movie that much till the end. Overall, I'd recommend skipping this picture.
"You obey or you die."