Plot: What’s it about?
Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) is an honest, hard working police officer who tries to make justice is always served. He might be a nice guy to those who know him, but he is as tough as they come in terms of his professional life. He can handle his firearm well enough, but his main weapons are his hands and feet, which he uses to make sure the criminals don’t escape to commit more crimes. And when someone innocent is in trouble, Eddie will do whatever it takes to rescue them, even if it means risking his own life. Soon Eddie finds himself in a world of danger, as he is caught in the middle of a mob war and this is one nasty battle to be sure. As with any mob war, people will die and in this case, it might be Eddie or an innocent person who has been kidnapped. But Eddie can’t focus on this case alone, as he is also in the midst of a battle within the police force, where someone might have been shot without proper reason. Can Eddie overcome the red tape and end the bloodshed once and for all?
I like Chuck Norris a lot, as you might know if you’ve read my reviews for his other films. So when Code of Silence was announced, I was ready to add it to my collection, right alongside such Norris classics as Missing In Action and Top Dog. This film takes Norris out of the secret agent or soldier business and puts him inside a city as a police officer, which works out pretty well. As always, Norris packs the running time with all sorts of action, from explosions to gunshots, to hand to hand fights, so there’s no lack of energy within this picture. At the helm here is Andrew Davis, who is no slouch when it comes to action either, so together these two conjure up a fun, escapist feature that proves to be more than worth a look. Of course, you have to like Norris and his brand of action to like Code of Silence, but I think most action fans will find a lot to like with this movie in the end. A very nice pace, some cool stunts, and wall to wall action, what more can you want? The disc has few supplements, but the new anamorphic widescreen transfer and low price point make this one an easy recommendation.
Chuck Norris is back in action on DVD! That’s right folks, international action superstar Chuck Norris takes center stage in this film and he kicks more ass than you can shake a mule at. I’ve never understood why, but Norris has never been able to break into the upper tier of cinematic action stars. He has the look and moves to be counted among the best, but the masses just never took to him that well. He’s garnered a larger following thanks to his television series Walker, Texas Ranger, but his movies are what I like him for. Sure his flicks have never had the sheer production values of loftier box office guys, but they’re still loads of fun and more than stand as solid action pictures. Norris can handle both fist fights and weapon battles well, which is more than I can say for some action superstars. Sure, Norris isn’t loaded with inhuman muscles, but he still kicks ass with the best with of them. For more sheer Chuck Norris mayhem, I suggest Missing In Action, Enter The Dragon, Good Guys Wear Black, Invasion U.S.A., and of course his comedic efforts, Side Kicks and Top Dog. The rest of the cast also includes Henry Silva (Ghost Dog, Above The Law), Bert Remsen (Hugo Pool, Maverick), Dennis Farina (Out of Sight, Reindeer Games), and Molly Hagan (Election, Ringmaster). The director of Code of Silence is Andrew Davis, who also helmed such films as The Fugitive, A Perfect Murder, The Package, Under Siege, and Chain Reaction.
Video: How does it look?
Code of Silence is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. It is nice to own this film in widescreen, as the laserdisc was full frame only and the image left a lot to be desired. This is a vast improvement over that transfer though, with a very clean source print and no real problems to discuss. A few scenes seem to be a little too dark, but since no detail seems to be obscured, I won’t raise much of a ruckus. The contrast is well balanced, colors look rich and bold, and I saw no compression flaws. Now if MGM would revisit their other Norris films like this, we’d be in business.
Audio: How does it sound?
This movie would sound so cool in a full 5.1 surround sound remaster, but sadly this release contains only the original mono audio track. This is an action driven movie, filled with gunfights and other intense stuff, so this mix just can’t measure up to the material. While these mono tracks work for dialogue driven films or less audio driven movies, this film screams for surround sound. The dialogue is crisp and clear, but the rest of the elements fall short of what they should sound like. This disc also contains a Spanish mono option, English captions, and French & Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You get the film’s theatrical trailer, but nothing else.