Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Delta Force (1986)

Conservatives who complain about “liberal Hollywood” and it’s “propaganda” tend to forget one big exception: every friggin action movie ever made takes a right wing position. It’s really hard to imagine Rambo fighting polluters or animal poachers or taking on sexism. Generally, the heroes are stymied by liberal politicians and finally get to solve problems the only way that works: blowing shit up.

The Delta Force is Golan-Globus’s contribution to the neoconservative cause from the Israeli point of view. Luckily, this doesn’t mean there are too many didactic speeches in the film. We’re here to see Chuck Norris kick ass and the Chucker doesn’t do big speeches.

Basically, it’s one of those airplane disaster movies from the 70s with 80s militarism. A plane flying from Greece and stocked with B-movie stars like George Kennedy and Shelley Winters gets hijacked by Beirut’s swarthiest terrorists, all of whom look like they came from the central casting for angry Arabs. At the head is scenery-chewer Robert Forster and the jist of their politics is that they really don’t like Jews. This leads to a fairly dramatic bit in which the German stewardess is forced to single out the Jewish passengers and Shelley Winters makes the message of the film clear by screaming that it’s the Holocaust all over again.

Won’t anybody do something to save them? Of course. The Delta Force is sent in to Beirut to get the hostages out. The leader of the squadron is the classic leader-of-the-squadron actor Lee Marvin and the real muscle of the group is the Chucker, who has come out of an early retirement caused by those damned politicians who screw everything up. Luckily, this time, they’re letting the heroes kick some ass and there are some great car chases, gun battles, and shit being blown up real good.

Unfortunately, the Delta Force is somewhat hamstrung by the plot necessities, which lead the first half to be the tense hostage-taking scenes that build up our resentment towards the terrorists. At least half the movie is a trouble-on-a-plane story and, while it’s all good and well, we’re here to see Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin kill people. The last hour, which involves a bunker siege and has some high-tech super motorcyles finally delivers the brainless goods, thank Chuck.

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