Day 22 The Delta Force from 1986
Tagline – “They don’t negotiate with terrorists… they blow them away!“
Who’s our hero today?
He’s back again after this month’s reviews of Missing in Action (1984) and Lone Wolf McQuade (1983). That’s right, Chuck Norris is back baby. This time he’s playing the maverick Captain, soon to be Major, Scott McCoy.
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
I do remember it on the shelves. Did I pick up? I really can’t recall. Something telling me my first time was on television and I had recorded it! Do you remember going through the TV guide and having one of those video recorders you could program codes in to record? It would automatically set the timer for you. I think they were called VideoPlus+ codes? That felt so wildly futurist to me at the time.
Quick plot run down.
Delta Force is based on the true hijacking in 1985 of TWA Flight 847 by terrorists demanding the release of 700 Muslims in Israeli custody. With many parts based on true events. Obviously being a Cannon Film Production things are gonna get exploited as much as they can. When the American Travelways Airlines Flight 282 is hijacked with 144 passengers and crew taken hostage the US Delta Force is deployed to help get things under-control. With some hostages moved to a different location, Delta Force needs to change it’s plans.
Does the hero have a day job?
Scott McCoy is a Captain in the elite special operations force of the United States Army called Delta Force. A group specialising in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and reconnaissance of high-value targets. After a run in with superiors after a failed mission he retires and becomes a horse farmer. Yeah yeah of course it’s only a matter of time till he’s back with the team.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Everything. This is war machine Chuck Norris we’ll taking about here.
Heroes weapon of choice?
Just about every military grade weapon you can think of but he has a secret super bike on hand. And it’s got missile launchers on the front and back. He can do wheelies, flip the bike round and still blow up his target with pin point accuracy with an endless supplies of rockets.
Heroes drink of choice?
Budweiser Beer get to do it’s product placement at the end of the film. But Chuck prefers to drink Belgium wheat beer Hoegaarden with salt and pepper nunchucks!
Does hero have a sidekick?
Well massive big time star and super legend Lee Marvin is Col. Nick Alexander, The commander of the Delta Force unit. Apparently poor Lee Marvin wasn’t well during filming and would unfortunately pass away the following year. But he does give em hell in a few scene and his massive eyebrows were sure to freak a few baddies out before he mowed them down. “It’s a go. TAKE THEM DOWN!”
So as Col. Nick Alexander is looking after the back lines we need an all action sidekick for our Major Chuck. Step forward Steve James aka Bad Ass Bobby. Well just Bobby but with the addition of fan favourite Steve James (American Ninja) joining the mission it’s gonna be like half the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse have turned up and opened the gates to Hades.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
With 144 passengers and crew all hostages sat on the runaway in the blistering heat with the fear of death at any moment it really is a dire desperate situation.
Who’s the main baddie?
Would you believe me if I said the leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Abdul Rafai is played by Robert Forster! Yep strange casting there but to be fair it kind of works. I’ve always been a massive fan of Robert Forster and it was very sad news indeed when he passed away in October last year. He will be forever immortalized as Max Cherry from Jackie Brown (1997) but I love him from The Black Hole (1979) Twin Peaks, Vigilante (1982) and Medium Cool (1969) to name a few.
Baddies special skills?
Well organised and coordinated.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 9/10
He’s a constant danger and unpredictable.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 10/10
Come on it wouldn’t be anything less than a ten! He can abseil down a telephone line one handed as he unleashes his machine gun with the other.
Surely it features a training montage scene?
No there isn’t but we do see the aftermath of the balls up of Operation Eagle Claw five years earlier which was part of the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Does it feature an impossible mission?
It’s based on true events.
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Nope he keeps himself all covered up.
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
You people have a one track mind you know that!!! I know where you coming from. A Cannon movie with no naughty flesh on show! What is the world coming too! But it’s true, nothing here.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
The native New Yorker Robert Forster with his Italian American roots playing the leader of the Lebanese terrorist group, Abdul Rafai is pretty random in itself.
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
Bonkers high! Bad guys blown to kingdom come.
Innocent baddie death rate?
You know what I bet there was at least one terrorists at the compound just chilling out thinking to himself this is easy work. Let the rest do all the terrorising and if he kept his head down he’d get fed, somewhere to sleep etc. Then Chuck and Steve alter-ego’s come crashing through the ceiling with bazookas and shit. Next minute you realise a rocket has blown you through a window and then you’re double tapped as you hit the ground.
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Insanity of explosions. One massive one 30 seconds into the film!
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
They were flying around all over the place. A few must of been vaporized in a fire ball or catapulted head first into a concrete wall! Joking aside, there was so many stunts in the second half. Fingers crossed they all lived ready to be tortured in the next Cannon production.
Any cool car chases?
There’s an excellent chase with Chuck hanging out the door of a christian VW camper van with a uzi whilst being chased down by enemy jeeps. Accompanied by the catchy and rather cheesy theme tune that keeps returning throughout the movie.
With a surprise attack from a terrorist hiding under a bed. You know there’s only one short sentence you can say as you machine gun the mattress. Go on Chuck lets hear it…….. Major Scott McCoy – “Sleep tight.. Sucker!”
Crazy factoid I just learnt?
On board the real-life 1985 TWA plane hijacking was the famous Greek musician and singer Demis Roussos. He spend five days with the other hostages before being released early after the Greek government did a deal with a prisoner they had. He even spent his birthday on there!
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
What’s so crazy with The Delta Force is there’s really big names taking up parts alongside the main stars of the film. You got George Kennedy, Martin Balsam, Susan Strasberg, Robert Vaughn and even Shelley Winters. It’s a big cast. Could this be Cannon Films biggest budget film? Actually it was probably Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)??. Let me know.
The Delta Force is directed by one of the daddies of Cannon Films. One half of the owners, Menahem Golan with his cousin Yoram Globus on production. The film is written by James Bruner who’s penned a few other Chuck Norris films from Missing In Action (1984) Invasion USA (1985) and An Eye For An Eye (1981) (I haven’t seen or even heard of that one!!) There are in fact two sequels called Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990) and Delta Force 3: The Killing Game (1991). I haven’t seen either. Should I?
First half on the plane is very low on cheese however the second half takes on a giant dollop of gorgonzola and goes from suspenseful thriller into pure 80s action crazy.
IMDB score rating – 5.6/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 7/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 6/10
So great watching this again. Been way too long. To be honest I hadn’t remembered much about the first half of the film and just recalled all the carnage later on. This time round I preferred the beginning. The plane take over and siege is very well done. It’s a shame as The Delta Force could of easily of been a better film. One of the problems is it’s too long imho. Cut 20 minutes out and you’d have a punchier film. It’s sad that it was Lee Marvin’s last movie before he passed away. But also cool to see the old legend strutting with a machine gun giving them hell one last time.
PS At the time of writing The Delta Force is on Netflix.
PSS Please forgive me if I’m late getting back to comments and not commenting on your blogs. This silly challenge to myself has got a little out of hand! After having a few in the bag and happily plodding on, its now turned into back from work, eat dinner, do review, watch next film and repeat. Hope to catch up at the weekend. Then it’s the home stretch. It would of been easier to give up my heroin addiction! Don’t worry I ‘m still enjoying it. And yep I’m a 1st class doofus!
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.