Saturday, 4 November 2017

Delta Force 2 (1990)

A sequel only in name and star to the 80s original, Delta Force 2 is typical of the shoot first, ask questions later approach to film making taken by its makers, the legendary Cannon Films studios. While the original at least started with serious intent, before spiralling out of control this one starts stupid and doesn't stop.

Chuck Norris reprises his role as Major Scott McCoy, this time going after a South American drug lord Ramon Cota (Billy Drago). He has a partner, Bobby Chavez, which makes the first part feel like a buddy cop film, and once we are introduced to Chavez's ideal family life, we know he is doomed. At this point the film changes to more of a revenge thriller, akin to the James Bond film License to Kill, released a year earlier than this.

The script throws in every dumb cliché and wretched cornball one-liner known to man, and look out for the training montage that seems to be Chuck trying to cripple everyone else in the Delta Force. Not that you need an army when Chuck is on the case, of course.

Delta Force 2 retains the cheap, made for TV look of its predecessor, although as this is the 90s, whereas the first looked like looked like an episode of The A-Team, this looks like an episode of Macgyver. More importantly, like the first Delta Force, the invincibility of Chuck kills any tension, and the endless explosions eventually become tiring.

However, the real star of this show is not the unlikeable and dull Norris, or the pantomime villain Drago. Instead, John P Ryan, steals the show as Norris’ boss General Taylor. His hilarious, unrestrained take on the role makes Taylor more nuts than anyone Norris is trying to gun down or blow up, especially when he decides to go on a killing rampage in a helicopter gunship.

It is worth remembering that, for all the jingoism and flag waving on screen, at the time Delta Force 2 was released, elements of the CIA had their hands dirty, with some of their South American anti-communist friends financing their operations by smuggling drugs to the USA.