Lone Wolf McQuade Reviews
Texas ranger takes down gun operation headed by David Carradine. Neat change-of-pace for Chuck, told in almost spaghetti western italics, with good location work and exciting final fight between the stars. Many Norris fans consider this his all-time best. Only complaint: It goes on just a tad too long.
It takes very little time before it becomes clear just what style of filmmaking Lone Wolf McQuade follows. It is that of a Spaghetti Western style which is great, but it also takes into account a lot of the good stereotypical elements of Chuck Norris films such as his fighting skills and the relentless patriotism. The film works as a stylish mix of Sergio Leone style western mythology and definitive Chuck Norris action exploitation. It is an interesting blend, and even though the story is hardly as complex or engaging as a Sergio Leone film or as fun and action packed as the better Chuck Norris vehicles. You cannot expect a Chuck Norris film to have the complex undertones and messages of a Sergio Leone piece and as a film which touches upon the west it cannot be straight up as an action vehicle either which means that the negative elements of the two amalgamated genres do prove to take their toll on the final product as a whole because it ends up incurring a slow pace and melodrama which shortens the action quantity and therefore limits the general appeal of the film as a Chuck Norris movies.
Lone Wolf McQuade is essentially just another generic Chuck Norris film but works as a more stylish piece than a lot of his others. This means that it faces the same thin story and basic script as well as one dimensional characters. This makes it hard to fully enjoy the film. It is decent in parts, mostly in the scenes which require more explosions and less talking, but there simply is not enough of them for the film to stand up well enough by today's standards. The film simply feels like an extensive episode of Walker, Texas Ranger without holding too much to suggest that it has the production values of a genuine feature film. Lone Wolf McQuade simply has not aged well and lacks enough nostalgia for it to be much of a campy guilty pleasure.
Lone Wolf McQuade capitalises on being a 1980's action film in the sense that it goes a fair way on a small budget. With only $5 million, Lone Wolf McQuade is carried by a lot of well-staged action which keeps the film entertaining. There could have been more of it, but what exists is a versatile collection of scenes which keep the spirit of the film high enough to justify staying until the end. They make the film memorable and give it moments of excitement which suggests that it could have been a great film. It tried to be a guilty pleasure and a legitimate tale which is its primary downfall, but it really has some fun scenes. The action in the film is great. Although the western style of the film limits the blood and gore quantity to minimal, it is packed with shootouts and explosions which give it the sense of fun that it needs. Although the sound effects during some of the fight scenes prove a little too obviously fake, as a whole everything is put together well.
As part of being a Sergio Leone style feature, Lone Wolf McQuade has a lot of western elements. One of the most obvious ones is that the musical score in the film borrows very heavily from Once Upon a Time in the West. The music is derivative, but it gives the film a certain western atmosphere which is nice, and it adds to the feel of the film well. The film also benefits from a lot of strong western scenery as well as good cinematography techniques which capture everything nicely, so the film has a certain level of visual appeal to it which elevates it above many of i
Chuck Norris' lead performance is a firm one. While the film is clearly a B movie and any attempts to characterize J.J. McQuade as anything more than the archetypal hero than he is prove to be ridiculous, Chuck Norris fits the profile of the part excellently. You can see him genuinely trying in the role because he makes an effort to express some emotion in the part instead of strictly remaining monotonous, and even though it doesn't always work, he does have a sense of determination in the part. His role is effective mainly because he is such a convincing cowboy. He grasps his weapons with confidence and a quickdraw, and his natural heroism and patriotism is all there which gives him the correct edge for the role. It is great to see Chuck Norris in a Spaghetti Western style film because it capitalises on his later legacy as Sheriff Cordell Walker from the cult classic action television series Walker, Texas Ranger. Considering the time of the film, it is a great example of him branching out. So Chuck Norris makes a decent cheesy action hero lead for Lone Wolf McQuade and justifies the existence of the film as a star vehicle for him, so he makes the gimmick of the film decent.
Considering David Carradine's legacy for exploitation films in the 1970's, he makes a welcome presence as the central antagonist in Lone Wolf McQuade. His physical abilities as a fighter are fairly impressive and realistic without being overly choreographed. He is a genial presence in the part as he is such an easy antagonist, and his general handling of himself as an action character is no challenge for him. David Carradine plays his part in Lone Wolf McQuade easily and makes a natural villain without difficulty.
But despite the presence of both Chuck Norris and David Carradine as well as some strongly staged action sequences, Lone Wolf McQuade ultimately fails to decide whether to be a western or a simple action film and ends up an unbalanced amalgamation of the two which is slowly paced, needing in more action and poorly aged.
The Feds recruit the Ranger to assist in tracking down the platoon of the arms dealers & bring down their gang...
This is a martial arts western action movie: divinely, on the list as being one of the best there is. It is one of Chuck Norris's best films.
I give the film an A (Amazing)
This ticks all the genre convention boxes with aplomb, especially with regards to the baddie's midget sidekick and some great 'captain-harrassed by-hotheaded-maverick' scenes (take a bow, R.G. Armstrong) to rate with the best of 'em.
Chuck not only drives out of an early grave with the aid of only a truck and a cold beer, but spins around with an Uzi at one point and kills all the petty villains in a 360 degree radius. Boom, baby!