Bullet Points: The Delta Force
- The Gist: The story is partially inspired by a real plane hijacking en route to Rome from Athens in 1985. The plane here is taken over by Lebanese terrorists and forced to land in Beirut. As they attempt to negotiate with the US government, The Delta Force, an elite Special Forces unit with the US Army, is sent in to do some negotiating of their own; negotiating a well-aimed 9mm round into a terrorist’s heart. Colonel Alexander (Lee Marvin) and Major McCoy (Chuck Norris) lead the charge for The Delta Force members against the extremists led by Abdul (Robert Forster).
- The Cast: If you think you’re getting yourself into another all-out Cannon action movie you will be somewhat surprised. The entire first act of the movie is spent with the passengers of the plane and how they are fairing with the takeover of their ride. It gives us a chance to actually care whether or not the plane explodes and kills everyone inside it. George Kennedy, Lainie Kazan, and Debra Levine really stood out to me with their quality acting. The men of the Delta Force are a simple bunch of guys. All we really need to know about them is that they are totally and unrelentingly badass. Chuck Norris resigns from his position at one point. Later, when shit hits the fan, he decides to come back. Nobody really says anything but somehow he gets a promotion. Only Chuck gets a promotion for resigning. Lee Marvin looks and sounds like one tough dude as well as the Colonel and when he says something, there is little doubt that his men will jump to it.
If only they still made movies like this.
- The Villain: For a large chunk of this movie, we only get Abdul and his sweaty, gross buddy as the villains. They walk through the plane pistol-whipping people and plotting the death of anyone suspected to be of Jewish descent. There are a couple of moments where they actually try to humanize the terrorists but then the next scene they’re back to being terrible again. Business really starts to pick up when a bunch of their terrorist comrades join them and they eventually leave the plane and head to a location more suitable for destruction. Robert Forster as Abdul does a good job and it’s funny to see a guy from Rochester, NY playing a Lebanese terrorist.
- The Action: The final act of the movie is, no doubt, non-stop explosive action. There are gun battles, explosions, and a dude getting drop kicked from a motorcycle. Seriously, Chuck Norris can’t even dismount a motorcycle without accidentally kicking somebody in the face. The vehicles used by The Delta Force are totally badass and they cause a serious amount of destruction in a really short amount of time. It was weird to see how many guys they took with them as I always think of Special Forces teams as having smaller groups of men. My one wish would have been for Chuck to have gotten to fight a big-ass Lebanese terrorist dude while at the compound. The action was straight-up 80’s Cannon gold. Chuck is a total badass who cares little for collateral damages as long as he gets the job done. He toys with the terrorists a couple of times just for fun. He does wheelies and ramps pretty much everything in sight. Lee Marvin never misses a shot; accurately picking off terrorists left and right through a half-drunken squint, no less. Steve James is the third tier badass for the team, that’s how awesome they were. The movie was pretty long. It spent a long time setting up the hostage situation and they probably could have cut 20 minutes and it wouldn’t have had a negative effect on the film.
They must have custom made this motorcycle for Chuck, you won’t see these at the X Games….although, that would be amazing!
Take it Home:
- What might have been: Charles Bronson was originally supposed to play Col. Alexander. Cannon Films even made some posters with Bronson and Chuck Norris for theaters.
- What a way to go: This was the final film of legend Lee Marvin.
- Terrorist Zombies: The Delta Force are super pissed at the end and Chuck almost looks like he wants to go back and re-kill the terrorists.
- Favorite quote: “Sleep tight sucker.”
- Favorite quote: “You know what to do. Find one who speaks English and work on him.” President Bush would be proud of you Lee Marvin.
- Happy Birthday: Lee Marvin and Steve James share a birthday, February 19th. Marvin was born in 1924 and James in 1952.
This was very close to happening. I wonder if anyone had started construction on the bigger theatres?
They all celebrate the slaughter by cracking open a few Budweisers…USA USA!