08 March 2010

Forced Vengeance

United States – 1982
Director – James Fargo
MGM/UA Home Video, 1992, VHS
Run Time – 1 hour, 43 minutes

Chuck Norris, pillar of humble manhood, delves into the dark-side in Forced Vengeance, a stunning portrayal of a good man forced to take the law into his own hands when the underworld kills his closest family members.

Hard at work in his stepfather's Hong Kong casino the "Lucky Dragon", head security guard Josh Randall, (Norris) lackeys around as the strong arm of his adoptive family whose name I didn't catch. His step-father is a "rich jew" character, veteran of WWII who decided to stay in HK, practice Tai Chi, and open the casino. He made some money, retired and handed it to his impulsive weak-spined adopted asian son, who gambles the family business to shit, putting them at odds with "expansionist-evil-American", Raimundi, another spoiled whiny stepchild. Raimundi tries to buy up The Lucky Dragon, Jew dad refuses, Asian son whines, dad still refuses and both get greased, leaving Josh with the rest of the movie to punch, pummel and kick his way through the remaining plot.

He pokes around Hong Kong a little, asking the expected questions of the expected people, and, delivering the necessary face punches to secure the desired answers. His girlfriend Claire (Mary Louise Weller of Animal House) is something else entirely. In the first scene, she appears to display a few moments of individual personality and independence, but as soon as Josh gets bossy, she gets doe-eyed and limp and he drags her around with a bruising deathgrip on her upper arm.

Josh meets up with his old Special Forces buddy, LeRoy, who now sells Army surplus gear in HK and sleeps with underage Asian girls. After hearing the age of LeRoy's current girlfriend Josh offers his congratulations, so that really reinforces these guys as “protagonists” and makes us all feel great about cheering for them. Josh leaves Claire in LeRoy's protection – which seems like a fantastic idea. I mean, the guy clearly has a healthy respect for women, errr, girls. But the eviler forces of evil are just a few minutes behind, and wearing the tightest possible outfit, Claire meets her predictable doom, eliciting only a modestly increased output of bereaved face kicks from Josh. Now wearing his full Army dress uniform, replete with four rows of ribbon bars, the stony-faced Josh takes to the streets once again, his vengeance forced out like a stony constipated poo.

If you can continue to ignore Josh's awkward smattering of narration and a laughably hypocritical "good guy" epilogue, the final sweeping joy of this movie is literally a big nasty piece of window glass delivered directly to the face.

 A poster from Wrong Side of the Art


Norris, drunk!? 

A collection of lobby cards

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