It’s 1986. A passenger jet has been taken hostage by middle eastern terrorists. Who you gonna call? Well of course it’s Chuck Norris and his Delta Force.
We’re back to the 80’s action films (see previous review of Remo Williams) and this time its to the patriotic drum banging, chest thumping ‘Delta Force’ directed by Menahem Golan.
In this action thriller, a flight from Athens to New York is taken over by two terrorists who demand to be taken to Beirut along with the 100+ hostages that they’ve got on the plane.
As negotiations fail, the President turns to the special forces team – the Delta Force – and sends them in to attempt to rescue the hostages and take out the bad guys.
This film, managed to put quite the cast together, with Lee Marvin supporting Norris in the lead roles, but with smaller roles from Shelley Winters, Denholm Elliott, Robert Forster, Robert Vaughan, and George Kennedy amongst others.
The film itself is somewhat based on the true story of TWA Flight 847, which had been hijacked the year before in 1985. You can’t help but think that this film was the response to someone’s frustrations as they watched the true story unfurl wishing someone would just ‘take the terrorists out’.
What we end up with here is a relative vulgar demonstration of testosterone fuelled uber-patriotism with close ups on the US flag as the special forces as they prepare for battle, budweisers being handed out to rescued hostages and a good old sing song of ‘America The Beautiful’.
Norris does, in this film, what he is best at – He is close to parody at times with a motorbike that fires missiles, running past soldiers with machine guns that just can’t hit him, and jumping through windows at a moments notice.
It feels like this film was an attempt at making a statement to the world about US strength, and somewhat of an attempt to reframe the actual events of the previous year.
With the genre it’s in not often aging well, all we can now do is rate the film today, and that doesn’t do it very well at all.
The Delta Force is currently available on streaming services.
“Sleep tight, Sucker!”