The Delta Force (Blu-ray)

Director - Menahem Golem

Cast - Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Robert Forster

Country of Origin - USA

Discs - 1

MSRP - $10.99

Distributor - MGM/20th Century Fox

Reviewer - Scott MacDonald

The Film (2.5/5)

The Delta Force has a cast most director's would kill for including Chuck Norris (Lone Wolf McQuade, Missing In Action), Lee Marvin (Point Blank, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), Robert Forster (Vigilante, Jackie Brown), Bo Svenson (The Inglorious Bastards, Walking Tall Part 2), Shelley Winters (Night of the Hunter, Poor Pretty Eddie), Hanna Schygulla (The Marriage of Maria Braun, Katzelmacher).  It is a Cannon Films production, directed by one of the heads of Cannon himself Menahem Golam. If you were to judge this production by it's cover you would think, you were in for a pretty damn good time at the movies.

Sadly, The Delta Force is a huge disjointed mess of a film, with a great cast, and only a few great action set pieces to make up for it's extended running time.

The film tells the story of a group of Lebanese terrorist led by Abdul (Robert Forster, who hijack a jet en route to Rome and force it to Beirut.  Once the hijacking is reported The Delta Force led by Maj. Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Col. Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin) are called into action to save the passengers from the terrorist threat, and retrieve the plane from their control.

The problem with the film lies in the back that it is too bloated and all over the place for what should seemingly be a straight forward actioner. This is an 80's Chuck Norris vehicle, and in the first hour plus, we don't see a bit of Chuck Norris action, rather we see him sitting around contemplating rejoining the force before their missing. There is even a sequence with him sitting down, and eating DINNER whilst contemplating his mission!

Once the movie gets going it's a little bit of too little to late, for the action sequences for the next hour to truly make up for it. I will, however, admit being amused during the VW bus chase seeing as those are some of the slowest vehicles on the planet.  Part of me really wants to like The Delta Force, simply because this is such a relic of a bygone era. The Delta Force could simply not be made in a post-PC, Post 9/11 world.

The concept for the film alone with terrorist highjacking a planet would be considered too close to home for many to be treated in such a manner, and an actor like Robert Forster would never be cast in a role such as this one. It would be considered extremely offensive.  That being said, as a fan of Forster I was happy to see him on the screen, even if he had to play a Middle Eastern terrorist to get there. And that is one of the only high points of this film, the great cast. This simply spectacular group of actors knows exactly what kind of film there in, and they seem to at least be having fun with it.

Outside of that and a few decent action set-pieces toward the end there isn't much to recommend here.  This is definitely a lesser Chuck Norris vehicle, that is pretty much only worth watching if you are a Chuck Norris completist, or if he is standing over you whilst you watch the film.

 

Audio/Video (3.5/5)

MGM/Fox have presented the Delta Force in a solid 1080p 1:78:1 transfer preserving the films original aspect ratio. They have done a pretty excellent job preserving the original look of the film. The transfer is bright and colorful, with nice detail, flesh tones, and a healthy level of grain throughout.  As this is a low budget film from the 80's do not going in expecting perfection, there is quite a bit of softness throughout the transfer and a few instances of print damage, but overall this is the best Delta Force has or probably ever will look on home video.

The Delta Force has  been presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, which like the video is a completely solid transfer of the audio. It is nothing to right home about, but all the explosions sound quite nice, dialogue is audible, and music is mixed well.  I did not detect any audio defects on the track.

 

Extras (1/5)

The films theatrical trailer is present on the disc.

 

Overall

   Not the greatest Chuck Norris film ever (that'll scare a few people off), The Delta Force has some decent action set-pieces, and a spectactular cast. The transfer is really good for the film, and the period. However, I cannot really recommend this to anyone but Chuck Norris completist.