Monday, January 27, 2014

Delta Force 2 (1990)

Like the box says, Chuck Norris and the force are back... Well, Chuck is, seeing as Lee Marvin had died by the time this one came out and Steve James was doing American Ninja 3, but still!  Chuck returns as Scott McCoy and while the last time, he and a bunch of guys took on terrorists, this time out they're going for the other go-to bad guys in action movies from the 80's/90's.  No, not Communists, the other go-to options, drug dealers.  Chuck Norris is taking on the war on drugs, an amusing thought when you watch the film and end up wondering just how much coke the screenwriter was on when he was writing the first act and how much pot he was smoking when he lazed his way through the rest of the thing.

The main villain for the film is Ramon Cota, played by b-movie staple Billy Drago.  Cota is just about the slimiest, nastiest drug dealer you are likely to find.  This is partly due to Drago's skill (which is pretty decent in a low-rent sort of way), but also due in large part to the Cannon philosophy of "There is no such thing as over the top."  Not only does he kill a woman's husband right in front of her, he then orders her to be taken to his place so he can have his way with her... Then he orders her baby killed... After which he uses the body to smuggle drugs.

Like I said, the screenwriter had to have been on something to come up with that.  The woman in question goes on to appear later as a contact for Chuck and his guys and then is killed randomly later during the climax.

That aside, the plot revolves around McCoy and his pal Dead Meat- Uh, I mean Bobby as they chase Cota and finally apprehend him in a rather audacious skydiving stunt.  Well, technically Chuck throws Cota out of a plane and then skydives after him which results in Cota making bail and escaping again.  Naturally, Bobby and his family end up being killed about thirty eight minbutes in (because Chuck needs some motivation) and after some obligatory training stuff which essentially amounts to Chuck kicking some guys around, he sets off to deal with Cota and hopefully rescue some DEA agents that have been kidnapped.  Needless to say, Chuck wins.

The film is slightly better than the first by sheer virtue of being about twenty minutes shorter and a hell of a lot more consistent.  Now granted, said consistency is accomplished by eschewing the human drama in the first one for sleazy Cannon thrills but I'll take that over Shelley Winters any day.  The script is riddled with as many cliches as the bad guys are riddled with bullets; the film is about fifteen minutes longer than needed and nobody but the stunt team seems to give a crap (given that four crew members died in a helicopter crash during filming this is understandable) but still, a minor improvement is still an improvement.

The cast, apart from Drago is fairly nondescript (Chuck is on auto-pilot) with the exception of John P. Ryan as General Taylor.  Ryan is usually pretty hammy and here is no exception.  He shouts randomly, he yelps joyously when Chuck gets out of a situation alive, the man more or less provided all of the acting energy for the entire movie.

Delta Force 2 (alternately subtitled Operation Stranglehold and The Colombian Connection) came around when Cannon Pictures was entering its last days.  Listlessly directed by Aaron Norris (Chuck's brother whose other credits are mainly crummy films starring Chuck), it does wake up during the last hour when it just goes into action mode but really, this isn't a good movie at all.  Chuck turns into a one-man army and the team aspect goes by the wayside (though really, has Chuck Norris ever truly needed backup?), as I noted, the only people who seem to care are the stuntmen and while I like a movie that is comprised of tons of action, it really isn't a good sign when the film more or less begins its third act 50 minutes into a 110 minute running time.

The film was released in late August of 1990, generally the dumping ground for tired action vehicles.  Not often a movie gets the release date it deserves.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.