By Steve Vivona
When I was a teenager in the mid-eighties it's fair to say my taste in film was somewhat unevolved. I could count on my fingers and toes how many black and white movies I had seen up to that point and my tastes didn't range far beyond the genres of action and science fiction. While I certainly have grown to enjoy a wide variety of films from all genres and eras, I hold a special place in my heart for the films I enjoyed for no other reason than they had some good fights, chases or gun battles.
As an action hero Chuck Norris took a while to grow on me and it really wasnt until the original "Delta Force" that I started to enjoy his films. Chuck had all the right moves but his performances could be a tad wooden. However in "Delta Force" he displayed a little more range (perhaps he learned something from co-star Lee Marvin). That film, which was a loose retelling of the TWA hijacking in 1984, was probably the best of the lot churned out by The Cannon Group Inc., the primary purveyors of B-movie fare at that time.
"Delta Force" was one of Chuck's biggest hits so a sequel was inevitable. Staying topical, this installment dealt with the burgeoning drug problem faced by the U.S., and the seemingly invincible power held by drug lords who flouted this country's authority with impunity.
Chuck returns as Col. Scott McCoy. Lee Marvin died after the first film and his presence is missed. McCoy has declared war on the South American drug lords, and he and his partner Bobby Chavez have their sights set on Ramon Cota (Billy Drago best known for his role as Frank Nitti in "The Untouchables"). As required by these films Cota is so irredeemably vile that by films end we'll be cheering for Chuck to dispatch him as painfully as possible.
McCoy and his Chavez capture Cota but he is quickly freed on bail. He wastes little time sending his men to murder Chavez's wife and child, which of course only strengthens McCoy's resolve to bring him down!
I always felt that Chuck was best served when he played a soldier. His most successful films (like in the "Missing in Action" series) have him portraying patriotic men who want nothing more than to protect their country, and that's all the motivation they need to kick some a**! I can also say with confidence that compared to Segal, Van Damme and the many who followed in Chuck's footsteps he was Olivier by comparison!
"Delta Force 2" is not nearly as action-packed as its predecessor which also benefited from a large ensemble cast of seasoned veterans. The success of this film lies squarely on Chuck's shoulders and he acquits himself well. This was one of his last film efforts before he segued into his hugely successful TV series, "Walker, Texas Ranger."
MGMs DVD presentation of "DF2" is a fine job as usual. Some may complain that the film is presented in an open-matte fullscreen transfer, but it really doesn't require a widescreen presentation as it was shot full-frame. The soundtrack offers a bit more punch and adds some power to the action sequences. Overall its a solid presentation. A theatrical trailer has also been included.
The bottom line is if youre a fan of Chuck Norris or of this kind of film, then "Delta Force 2" is worth having in your collection. It delivers on what it promises and that's all you can ask. If you watch the Independent Film Channel all the time and see most of your movies in Greenwich Village then it's not for you.