07 June 2009

Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold

Gotta love the screener box.

A.K.A. Delta Force 2: The Columbian Connection
United States – 1990
Director – Aaron Norris
Media Home Entertainment, 1983, VHS
Run time – 1 hour, 50 min.

At this point in his career there was a definite 'Nam revenge effect that had colored every one of Norris's films since 1984. I don't think there is a single collection of films in any actor's repertoire that is more bitter, and wallows more in the 'Nam shame than in Chuck Norris. It just might be reactionary movies like these that made Americans feel so ashamed about Vietnam. This movie doesn't even take place in 'Nam but it's so egregious it makes me cringe.

The uncomfortable thing about these films is that none of them seem to realize how stupidly racist they are. Uncomfortably-funny stupid racist. Can you believe how far they’ll go? The important thing to watch in these films, and in this period of Norris films - and I call it a period in the sense that, like Picasso had a "Blue Phase", Norris had a "'Nam Revenge Phase" - is that although they vary little in plot originality, the army of bad guy character actors is remarkable. Among many other equally sinister but less well-known spring the infamous names of Christopher Lee, David Carradine, Richard Lynch, and here in DF2, Billy Drago. Along with other lesser known ones like Sonny Landham in Firewalker and Robert Forster in The Delta Force, this is a veritable Valhalla of B-screen anti-heroes waiting to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting god-fearing, milk-fed, freedom-loving America.

Here, Drago plays Escobar-esque drug czar Ramon Cota, with more money than the whole world, and the ability to be anywhere at any given instant to personally stab to death anyone in the way of his business plan. The US Army, "led" by General Taylor (another veteran character-actor, John P. Ryan) recruits Norris and his goofy buddy to push Cota out of a plane as he flies over US airspace. They do, landing comfortably in a courtroom where Cota walks free and promptly, and personally snuffs the buddy's wife and kids. Consumed by grief, Buddy goes after Cota on his own, and gets caught. Norris, consumed with grief, beats the shit out of a bunch of army guys and calls it (homoerotic) training, much to the hearty amusement of Ryan who stomps around clapping people on the back and grinning like a big dumb cowboy. Now to assault Cota's impenetrable mountain base, surrounded on three sides by impenetrable security forces, and general impenetrability. But a quick thinking Norris knows that most mountains have a fourth side, in this case, a million foot high unclimbable rock cliff that eats babies and worships Satan. No sweat.

Not until after the final important gun battle does Taylor show up, all his earlier zeal for the attack conveniently forgotten so that he can sit his fat rumpled ass down, and drunkenly yell orders to shoot at stuff from his single helicopter full of "Delta Force". Why getting beat up by Norris is considered training I don't know. I wish Norris would "train" General Taylor, damn that guy is a stupid jerk.

Delta Force 2 was followed by a third entry starring Norris's son Mike, and an Italian knockoff called Delta Force Commando starring Fred Williamson.

A nice high resolution poster from Wrong Side of the Art.

And DVD cover art from Shaolin Chamber 36

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