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  The Delta Force
Menahem Golan, USA, 1986
Rating: 4.2

Posted: December 27, 2002

Chances are if you don't care for Toby Keith's tune "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)." you probably won't find much to like in The Delta Force. In which case, you're depriving yourself of a Chuck Norris masterpiece. Some of my Shaking Through compatriots would denounce this classic as unadulterated, extra-strength jingoism, as if that's a bad thing. I mean, when you've got Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin with rocket-firing motorcycles leading the charge against terrorists, how can you not score? If the producers could have found a role for Charles Bronson, we'd be talking cinematic Nirvana here, but you can't have everything. The plot involves a group of terrorists who hijack a plane, take hostages and generally act all rowdy and in need of a beat-down. (One piece of advice: Never get on an airplane with George Kennedy. In every film, he's a disaster magnet.) Enter the Delta Force. In a scene certain to make Kevin Moreau grimace, Lee Marvin instructs his men to put on their Velcro American flag shoulder patches and gear up for an old school "beatin'." It brought a tear to my eye. (Editor's Note: Clemenza makes some erroneous assumptions here. I'm pretty liberal, it's true, but I'm quite a fan of Delta Force. -- KFM) While there's much to enjoy here, Delta Force will always be remembered for one of the greatest cinematic ass-beatings since James Caan brutalized his brother-in-law in The Godfather. If you've ever wondered just what a "whole can of whoop-ass" entails, Chuck's serving of classic "Norris justice" to seedy bad guy Abdul (convincingly portrayed by Robert Forster) will clear it up for you. Delta Force is a great action film, one that removes the all-too-pervasive gray areas between good and evil. My "social betters" will label films like this as elemental jingoism. Maybe so, but that's because they have made situational clarity such a rarity in real life that it is cherished wherever it can be found, even in a Chuck Norris film.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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