Theatrical Release: August 24, 1990
Blu Ray Release: December 8, 2015
Director: Aaron Norris
Review by James Klein
Although Chuck Norris was one of the biggest box office stars in the mid 1980’s (the man starred in three films in 1985 and two in 1986) his 1986 action epic The Delta Force played more like a 70’s disaster film with an all-star cast lead by Lee Marvin who died that same year. The film was a modest success and while I consider it to be one of my favorite Norris films, it didn’t have the box office draw as his Missing in Action films or the somewhat acclaimed Code of Silence had. With two box office flops in 1988 (Braddock: Missing in Action III and Hero and the Terror) Norris returned to one of his more moderate successes and with the help of brother Aaron, the two put together a rather cheaply made sequel to The Delta Force. At age 50, was Norris able to successfully return to the role of bad ass action hero?
One thing Delta Force 2 has going for it is the villain and no one plays a better sleaze bag than Billy Drago. Drago portrays drug lord Ramon Cota, an incoherent suave scumbag who at one point kills a woman’s lover, orders his men to take the woman to his bedroom and has them take her infant baby and use it’s body to smuggle drugs. As warped as that sounds, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ludicrous that was, and spoken with a deadpan delivery. After killing off a bunch of narcotics agents that were on his trail, Col Scott McCoy (Norris) and his elite Delta Force commando team are recruited to track down Cota and bring him to justice. When some members of his team are killed and/or imprisoned, McCoy wages war on Cota and his empire.
What’s missing from this sequel that I felt help elevate the original film from being just another action picture was the epic scope that original director Menaham Golan brought to the film. Clocking in at over two hours, The Delta Force had more in common with The Dirty Dozen than say Rambo. Delta Force 2 is just cheaply thrown together and director Aaron Norris (he directed his brother in some God awful films like Sidekicks, Top Dog, and Forest Warrior) just doesn’t have the talent to pull off an epic, larger than life, action film that Delta Force 2 is striving for. Most of the dialog seems to be canned and ADR, adding to this picture’s cheapness. The lame attempts at humor are groan-inducing and irritating. Even the performances are dry and forced. Thankfully Drago and character actor John P. Ryan (Runaway Train, Three O’Clock High) try their best and go way over the top with their performances, adding some unintentional humor. I found I became more engaged in the movie whenever they were on screen. Even the climatic battle is cheaply done and thrown together, offering nothing new or exciting that viewers hadn’t already seen before. And my biggest bitch of all: the amazing and rather catchy theme song by Alan Silvestri from the first film is nowhere to be heard in this sequel. The sequels composer Frederic Talgorn’s score is much like the film; boring and forgettable.
Kino’s blu ray also leaves much to be desired. The source used for this blu ray is pretty beat up. There are hairs, scratches, and debris that pop up on occasion but are quite noticeable. While the picture looks clearer and brighter than on previous home releases, it didn’t blow me away as something that is a must have in my collection. The 2.0 sound was also a bit of a disappointment as the sound effects and music sometimes drowned out what the characters were saying. I caught myself cranking up the volume at times just to hear what was being said. And aside from a few trailers, the blu ray doesn’t have any special features.
There does seem to be a fan base for Delta Force 2 so maybe I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Personally, this film along with Hero and the Terror marked the decline of Chuck. Chuck and Kino for that matter, have done better.
Movie and Blu Ray Rating: