The Delta Force Blu-ray Review
When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris. This, among many other awesomely outlandish facts, are about all I know about Chuck Norris. Now I get the joke a little more because he literally does the most minimal of things and completely destroys all his enemies. In 1985, a TWA airplane and its passengers were hijacked and held captive in Beirut, Lebanon. Inspired by these true events, THE DELTA FORCE was a made a year later, following the critical situation and the military team sent to save them.
Being just a little boy at the time, I wasn’t very familiar with this national crisis and I have no idea how accurate or not THE DELTA FORCE was at portraying the situations. But I have a pretty good guess that aside from changing TWA to ATW, that the entire rescue mission with Chuck Norris driving all over Beirut on a souped up motorcycle killing terrorists is stretching the truth a tad. I did look up some of the accuracies and apparently the pilot was held at gunpoint while interviewing with the media from the cockpit and a young soldier who was a passenger was sadly beaten to death.
Divided into basically two halves, THE DELTA FORCE first covers an intense hostage takeover as the villains take control of the plane. Despite the 80’s cheeseball production and the passengers being an odd mixture of somewhat famous actors from an older generation, including George Kennedy (COOL HAND LUKE, THE NAKED GUN) and Shelly Winters (A PLACE IN THE SUN, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE), the hijacking is quite real. Much of that credit is due to a believable commanding presence in the head Lebanese terrorist played by Robert Forster (THE DESCENDANTS). Evoking fear into the hostages, the villain is brutal yet reasonable. Forster wisely never plays it over the top that creates a reality for which the audience can sympathize with the sad and touching moments from the hostages.
The second half, ironically following the group in which the title is based on, is where the film really falls apart. Lee Marvin (THE DIRTY DOZEN) is the far too old commanding officer of the anti-terrorist team called THE DELTA FORCE. Sprinkled throughout the beginning we get glimpses of a half developed story about Marvin’s character getting his best soldier Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) to come out of retirement and join the team on their rescue mission. Chuck Norris headlines the film but barely utters any dialogue. Why bother the rest of the team consisting of a bunch of nameless guys when Chuck Norris will surely take on the enemy himself? If only the action had any sort of excitement or a feeling that these guys were in harms way that could provide an ounce of tension or coolness for me to be invested in. Instead, Norris slides down a wire, rides a rocket firing motorcycle and shoots machine guns haphazardly. The last hour had me snoozing away so much that I must have rewinded the film half a dozen times to see what I missed. Spoiler Alert: Things blow-up, people die and an atrocious up beat ditty for a score is repeated over and over and over.
If you are one of those Chuck Norris fanatics I’m sure you will be excited to finally get THE DELTA FORCE on Blu-ray. But for the rest of us, I think it might be better to let the man with a third fist behind his beard, live on as a tall tale lengend. Does it really matter how good his film’s are when his tears cure cancer?… Too bad Chuck Norris has never cried.
Video: (1080p 1.85:1) While the colors aren’t super vibrant in THE DELTA FORCE, the MGM transfer is fairly decent for an older film.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0) The sound could definitely be upped in quality as it came off pretty flat. And that score for THE DELTA FORCE is atrocious.