Menahem Golan passed away last week, leaving behind him one of the more badasses legacies a filmmaker can achieve. So badass that this movie, The Delta Force, is but a blip on the radar.
But what a blip! I watched this again for the first time since I was probably seven years old last night (which basically means I was watching it for the first time), and I was surprised how substantial it was. Rather than just get by on ‘80s cheese and machismo, The Delta Force supplies more than a couple hard hits when it comes to Robert Forster’s terrorist group and their plane-hijacking antics.
Meanwhile, the soft hits supplied by Chuck Norris’ weak presence (I hate Chuck Norris) are tempered by Lee Marvin’s gruff naturalism. When it’s an ‘80s action movie - when, for instance, Chuck Norris takes out a bunch of cars with his motorcycle rockets - it’s fun but not great. When it’s a plane highjacking movie with real stakes, it’s actually kind of good. Put them both together, shake them up, and you have something worth watching for over two hours. Seriously, The Delta Force is over two hours long.
As for the trailer, the whole first half develops the highjacking angle before throwing it all into an action movie cliche grinder. You can tell one part of the movie is more compelling than the other. It also ruins both of Chuck Norris’ most Chuck Norrisy quips, but that's just how trailers roll. You have to get those butts into seats somehow.