Plot: What’s it about?
Even when the world uses all of its powers to thwart terrorism, it seems as though it still happens, sometimes more than even before. On a routine flight between Athens and New York, two terrorists make their move and take control of the plane, along with those people unlucky enough to be on board. The two represent The New World Revolutionary Organization and once they’ve secured the plane, they force the pilot to change routes and land in Beirut. The plane had people of all types on board, but the majority of passengers were Americans, now hostages to this terrorist faction. Their lives obviously have been placed at risk and who knows what these terrorists might do, if their demands aren’t fulfilled. So in an effort to ensure the safety of those people and to discourage future acts of this nature, the government is taking serious action. No nukes. No air attacks. What then? The Delta Force has been sent to raid the terrorist stronghold, free the hostages, and make sure these scumbags don’t live to try this type of stunt again. But can even this elite force, equipped and trained to utter perfection, manage to complete this almost impossible mission?
An action movie with Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin? That alone makes The Delta Force a must see for genre fans, but this isn’t a gimmick movie by any means. Sure Marvin and Norris are enough to draw in the crowds, but this film also features some terrific action and thrills. See Norris take on terrorists in hand to hand combat and redefine the term “bitch slap,” see Marvin handling guns almost as big as him, with not even a drop of sweat lost. This movie is loaded with explosions, gunshots, and yes, it even features George Kennedy as a priest. You’ve got all the elements you need for a good action flick and they’re all done very well, what more can you ask for? An anamorphic widescreen transfer would be nice, though this disc doesn’t have one. The flick has all this cool stuff going on, but we have to suffer through a pan & scan transfer? Come on MGM, you know what we want, now give it to us. I recommend this as a rental to those interested, but let’s all hope MGM comes to their senses and reissues this down the road with a nice, 16X9 enhanced widescreen transfer? Please, MGM?
Chuck Norris in the house! 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 effort, Top Dog. Also kicking ass in The Delta Force is Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen, Hell In The Pacific), though sadly this was his final motion picture. The cast also includes Martin Balsam (Cape Fear (1991), Two Minute Warning), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Kim Delaney (Mission To Mars), and George Kennedy (The Naked Gun, Small Soldiers).
Video: How does it look?
The Delta Force is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be a cropped version of the film. I noticed severe composition flaws and also what seemed to be lost image, which signals to me this is a pan & scan transfer. Yuck! This movie might not be the best seller, but it deserves much better than this! Aside from the image loss though, this is a very nice transfer. I found minimal print damage and compression flaws and on the whole, this looks nice. The colors are vivid and never bleed, the contrast is stark and well balanced, but the image loss cancels all of that out, pretty much. MGM, we want anamorphic widescreen and we know you can handle that, so let’s see the end of these full frame only discs, eh?
Audio: How does it sound?
If this wasn’t an action movie, the included stereo surround track would be good enough, but in this case it just doesn’t measure up. The impact just doesn’t hit as hard and the range can’t be as expansive as it should. The music (an excellent Alan Silvestri score) emerges in fine form though, with a nice overall scope and never seems distorted or forced. The dialogue also comes through well and I found no separation or volume issues. The sound effects never overpower the other elements, which is always good though I would have liked them to be a little more powerful. English captions and French & Spanish subtitles have also been included.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You’ll find the film’s theatrical trailer, but no other value added elements.