I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection

tn_deltaforce2The first DELTA FORCE movie, directed by Menahem Golan, seemed like it was trying to be a prestige Chuck Norris movie. You got Lee Marvin, Bo Svenson, Robert Forster and Steve James in the cast, but also Martin Balsam, Joey Bishop, George Kennedy, Susan Strasberg and Shelley Winters. There’s a long section in the middle that has no Chuck Norris at all and is based on a real life hijacking incident.

But DELTA FORCE 2 (arguably subtitled THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION) is directed by Chuck’s brother Aaron and it’s pretty straightforward about just being about Chuck’s character Colonel Scott McCoy going around being more awesome than everybody else. He’s introduced having dinner with his friend Major Bobby Chavez (Paul Perri, MANHUNTER) when three punk rockers cause a scene elsewhere in the restaurant, so he excuses himself to go beat them up. He says he likes the food and slams a guy’s face into a plate of rice in a possible homage to a way better part 2,  A BETTER TOMORROW 2.

The villain is the straight up blatantly evil South American drug lord Ramon Cota (Billy Drago). We know he doesn’t have a human soul because he goes to visit the coca fields where poor villagers are forced to work and he immediately gets angry that one of them (Begonya Plaza, HEAT, ‘R XMAS) is tending to her baby instead of the plants. He has his men take away the baby and stabs the father right in front of her.

(So don’t go talking shit about unions. We need unions.)

mp_deltaforce2And things get worse for her offscreen. Later McCoy’s boss General Taylor (John P. Ryan) explains why he can trust her: “Ramon killed her husband, murdered her sick baby, and used the baby’s body to smuggle cocaine, and then he raped her. Probably a good idea not to bring it up when you meet her. She might be a little sensitive.”

The Delta Force boys manage to apprehend Cota on his private jet and get ready to jump off with him in their custody. He won’t put on a parachute, because he thinks McCoy is bluffing about throwing him off. Dumb bastard tries to bribe McCoy with a briefcase full of cash.

“Come on, let me go. Let me go!”

“Okay!”

And McCoy throws him off, leading to some great skydiving stunts. McCoy knows he can do that thing that you can do if you’re really awesome, where you jump off way later than another guy but then pose like Superman and it makes you fly over and catch up with him and then you grab on and pull your chute.

And the best part is that he still feels it’s important to hold a knife at his throat so he doesn’t escape.

Of course it’s against the law for DEA to go into another country and arrest somebody, and they’re real proud of this loophole they found (later used by Batman) that Delta Force or whoever can capture him and deliver him and then the DEA arrests him. But then the judge sets the bail at $10 million, and they get all mad. “$10 million is like pocket change to that scumbag! We risk our lives for nothing!”

What, they didn’t know about bail? Why are they surprised by this?

Anyway, Chavez can’t keep his cool and punches Cota out in the court room. That’s Bobby’s first mistake. Mistake #2 is that the next scene is about watching his son play basketball and kissing his wife. So of course in the scene after that thugs come to his house and murder his wife and kid.

Chavez knows he has to get revenge, so he knocks out McCoy and sneaks off to the polo match where he knows Cota is. The DEA guys see him and try to stop him before he gets himself killed, but  suddenly they’re surrounded by gunmen and kidnapped. They put Chavez in a glass chamber, gas him to death and send McCoy the video. He responds by going to the base and training (taking turns beating the shit out of recruits using choke holds, leg locks, armbars, flying kicks, head scissors and a surprising amount of hair pulling) to prepare for a mission to the country of San Carlos, where Cota is protected by the government and keeps the other hostages. He has 48 hours to go in before the rest of the military to “save the agents,” which means avenge his friend.

Alot of this is about tricking other countries. General Taylor loves going along and lying to his official guide Ernesto (Mateo Gomez), smiling the whole time. So fuckin proud of himself.

still_deltaforce2-2

Unfortunately once McCoy gets to this sort of jungly place the movie’s not as fun. He does climb a mountain, talk to a snake, and sneak into a mansion, but there’s a couple stretches where it’s just a bunch of footage of helicopters flying over shooting at soldiers and blowing up their houses and you don’t even see what McCoy is doing for a while.

There’s a pretty good fight with the Superfly looking henchman, but when McCoy announces “Lesson #1” and “Lesson #2” and “School’s out” between moves it seems more like a parody than a real action movie. And then, as soon as he impales the guy on a statue’s sword, Ramon strolls in in a silk bathrobe and sarcastically claps for him.

Maybe the best thing in the movie is when McCoy is captured in his chamber and being gassed and suddenly smiling, gum chewing General Taylor flies over the mansion and fires missiles at it. I don’t think he has any clue that McCoy is in there, and it’s only a coincidence that it saves him instead of blowing him into little chunks of meat floating in the swimming pool. I couldn’t help but think about recent U.S. air strikes overseas and how we hope they really are targeting specific terrorists they’re after but also know how impossible it is to always get that right.

still_deltaforce2-3

still_deltaforce2-5
To show how evil Cota is he stabs the lady with a machete and kisses her at the same time. McCoy comes floating in to kick him about ten feet in the air and call him a sonofabitch. His ultimate fate is kind of a repeat of earlier. They’re both dangling by cables as a chopper flies them to an aircraft carrier. He’s talking alot of shit about “cocaine flows like a river in your pathetic country” and McCoy reaches for his knife, but then notices that the cable is breaking anyway. So he just lets it break, calls Cota an asshole and smiles as he watches him plummet to his death. Then it goes right into a great Lee Greenwood end credits song about “flying high on the winds of change.”

The music in this is weird – some of it is really classy and RAMBO-esque, some of it is shitty fake-orchestra-keyboard bullshit. Maybe some of the real shit was left over from the first one. Or they didn’t have enough time with the orchestra to do the whole movie.

Like most Chuck Norris movies that aren’t INVASION USA, I didn’t love this one. But it’s pretty good, and definitely more fun than the first one. I will close with a few screen grabs of its greatest achievements.

still_deltaforce2-1

still_deltaforce2-4

still_deltaforce2-6

still_deltaforce2-7

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 11:03 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

44 Responses to “Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection”

  1. The orchestra music definitely isn’t left over from the first DELTA FORCE, which infamously only uses the same keyboard riff over and over again. Quite possibly recycled from another film though, knowing Cannon. I watched this nine years ago when I was going through Cannon and Norris phases, and remember enjoying this one (and the first DELTA FORCE for that matter) a lot although, no, not as much as INVASION USA.

  2. This is actually one of my favorite Norris movies. It’s a lot more fun than the original ever was and Billy Drago’s work in it is just truly inspired. The sky diving sequence is still glorious to me thanks to the sheer randomness of it all. Talk about creatively using intimidation tactics.

  3. I don’t get the (ironic?) love for INVASION USA – it’s just too boring. But this one is pretty cool. Outside of his stetson trilogy – SILENT RAGE, FORCED VENGEANCE and LONE WOLF MCQUADE – I think this and CODE OF SILENCE are the only ones that really holds up. Why is it called THE COLUMBIAN CONNECTION when they clearly are nowhere near Columbia?

  4. pegsman – I guess we’re supposed to assume that San Carlos is somewhere in Colombia. Either that or it’s a reference to the source of their blow shipments. Either way I always felt San Carlos was a neighbor of Val Verde myself.

  5. They should’ve gotten Dan Hedaya to play a twin dictator to the one from Val Verde.

  6. And on the other side lies Isthmus, a small country once visited by a certain British secret agent.

  7. Have to admit my enjoyment of the first DELTA FORCE is mostly the music, which was used much better later on in announcer Paul Page’s intros to the Indianapolis 500 on ABC

    The Delta Force - Alan Silvestri

    Amazing theme from the classic 80's action thriller The Delta Force, starring Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin, one of the best movies ever made. The complete sou...

    And here’s one of the Indy 500 intros for some context

    1995 Indianapolis 500 Intro

    ABC intro of the 1995 broadcast

  8. My dad, to this day, continues to adore John P. Ryan’s delivery of the wannabe catchphrase “Always the hard way!”, and will often quote it to me at random intervals.

  9. pegsman- You don´t like THE OCTAGON?. That one is as far as I am concerned glorious. Norris internal monologue is wonderful. It let us know that it echoes inside of his head. I guess we all knew that.

  10. Is it bad that I miss the days when Chuck Norris facts were funny?

  11. Perhaps as a side effect of the Norris fact craze, back in 2006 the Wikipedia page for this movie was really funny

  12. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was pretty much Conan O’Brien who started that trend with those pants-pissingly funny out of context Walker Texas Ranger clips, wasn’t it?

  13. Shoot, I guess there’s to ways to appreciate Norris’ movies, and the three I mentioned doesn’t give me the giggles – too often.

  14. pegsman- Maybe that´s the answer right there. I mean, if there are only three of them that doesn´t tickle your funny bones.

  15. The trailer for this movie is a classic, arguably better than the movie itself (even though the movie is pretty enjoyable). Hopefully Vern can keep it going w/ a review of the Norris-less Delta Force 3, which I’m honestly not even sure if I’ve seen or not. –

    Delta Force 2 Official Trailer #1 - Richard Jaeckel Movie (1990) HD

    Subscribe to TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/sxaw6h Subscribe to COMING SOON: http://bit.ly/H2vZUn Subscribe to CLASSIC TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u43jDe Like us on FA...

  16. Shoot, you mean I should embrace the idiocy…or stop watching?

  17. There are two ways to enjoy a Chuck Norris movie.

    1. Constantly be thinking “Isn’t it hilarious how cool this bearded anus thinks he is?”

    2. Watch INVASION USA.

  18. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen a Chuck Norris movie apart from DELTA FORCE (which was really bad), SIDEKICKS (which I think is bad but still kinda like), and WAY OF THE DRAGON (d’uh).

    I guess I just don’t want to get Dolph Lundgren’d – keep watching the guy’s movies hoping for more than I actually end up getting.

  19. Shit, now I have to watch INVASION USA again…

  20. That and Chuck Norris is barely recognisable over here in the UK. I expect most regular people could tell you a Chuck Norris “joke” (Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep. He waits.”) but couldn’t tell you who Chuck Norris actually is, what he looks like, or what he’s acted in. I don’t think he’s an international icon in the same way as, say, Bruce Lee or Jean-Claude Van Damme. Say what you like about JCVD, but I think most people would recognise him if you showed them a picture of him. I doubt the average man-on-the-street would recognise Chuck.

  21. Paul, if it’s a man over 40 he’ll know who he is. There was a time when Chuck Norris movies ruled the video stores over here.

  22. The Original Paul

    September 1st, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Pegsman – well it’s a few years until I hit forty, and I’m pretty sure there weren’t many video stores where I grew up, so I’ll have to take your word on that one!

  23. Is this the one where Norris finds some dude hiding under a bed and kills him? Or was that the first Delta Force?

  24. I admit I own the first four seasons of WALKER TEXAS RANGER. Billy Drago plays a shaman in an episode that can only be described as Norris version of ON DEADLY GROUND ( the mystical bits).

  25. True story: That is the only episode of WALKER I ever saw. I was at this janky strip club in Bushwick because this girl I’d just started seeing wanted to go there for her birthday. Problem was, in between agreeing to be her date for the night and the actual event, I started seeing this other girl I was way more into. I wanted the first girl to have a good night but I didn’t want to send any mixed messages, so the way I accomplished this was by saving her seat at the bar in front of the strippers while she went off and mingled with her friends. I’m sitting there with a stack of ones in front of me and all these strippers trying to get my attention because I’m with the birthday girl. I’m trying not to get too worked up so I can be a gentleman later that night, so I look up above the girl gyrating in front of me to see that the TV is playing some insane shit where Chuck Norris is in a coma and going on a vision quest and communing with his spirit bear. I couldn’t take me eyes off it. Every now and then I’d shove a dollar across the bar so the strippers would leave me alone and let me watch whatever the fuck this magicalness was.

    After about a half-hour of this, the birthday girl comes over and sees what I’m up to. “This guy is more interested in WALKER: TEXAS RANGER than some titties,” she says. “What a badass!”

    Let me tell you, it was hard work not getting laid that night.

  26. I think we might have heard that one before. Seedy debauchery like that seldom goes unnoticed

  27. I tealized I might have told that story before like two seconds after I hit the send button. Oh well. At least it’s preserved for posterity here in this important DELTA FORCE 2 review.

  28. The only time I remember watching anything from WALKER: TEXAS RANGER was ONE RIOT, ONE RANGER which I guess was a multi part episode but Cannon released as a DTV. The one cousin I had who was a Chuck fan had it on a 6 hour tape with THE HITMAN and TOP DOG. I remember enjoying the latter 2 much more. Especially TOP DOG because it was like K-9 and TURNER AND HOOCH but WITH roundhouse kicks all over the place.

    Like neal I also hope Vern reviews DELTA FORCE 3; unlike neal I vividly remember seeing that one. It’s such a weird one too. They couldn’t get Chuck for whatever reason so they decided to gimmick it up by having the Delta Force team made up of the obscure relatives of certain Hollywood celebs. Like Nick “Son of John” Cassavetes a couple of years before he stole the show as Cage’s brother in law in FACE/OFF. As well as the one son of Kirk Douglas who never worked with Verhoeven, Ridley Scott or Joel Schumacher, Chuck’s son Mike and the son of Arthur Penn because I guess Chris Penn felt he was too good for it. I rememeber expecting Chad McQueen and Frank Stallone to show up at any moment but sadly it never happened.

  29. The only other thing I’ve seen from WALKER was a staredown between Chuck and an angry wolf which was like one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

  30. At one point Michael Winner was going to direct this. And of course Bronson was supposed to be in the first one. Makes you think about what could have been. Politically it wouldn’t have worked, but as a movie it would have been an interesting one. Knowing Winner it would of course have had a lot of long rape scenes.

  31. Re-watched INVASION USA today. Still not on my Top-10 Chuck Norris list.

  32. You actually have a “Top 10 Norris-films list”?! I´m struggling to find even one that is actually good.

  33. Not even LONE WOLF MCQUADE?

  34. Maybe that one and CODE OF SILENCE. But that´s about it!

  35. There are a few more that are watchable.

  36. Yes like THE OCTAGON and CODE OF SILENCE.

  37. Wait not CODE OF SILENCE I meant SILENT RAGE the one with the mutant bio killer plot. Also HERO AND THE TERROR. My memory is foggy when it comes to the Norris overture. Sometimes they all bleed into each other.

  38. I think LONE WOLF MCQUADE, FORCED VENGEANCE, SILENT RAGE, CODE OF SILENCE and AN EYE FOR AN EYE are all worth checking out. THE OCTAGON, DELTA FORCE 2, A FORCE OF ONE, GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK and FIREWALKER if you want to round of the list.

  39. I don’t think there’s any Chuck movie that can be enjoyed completely unironically, even INVASION USA, which has legitimately badass stuff like gratuitous cock-shootings and rampant bazookaings side by side with ridiculous shit like the idea of twenty guys driving pickups trucks in Florida being able to take over the whole country and the bad guy having nightmares about Chuck that Chuck is somehow able to eavesdrop on, Freddy-style. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a “good” Chuck Norris vehicle. He’s just such a bad actor with such comically low charisma that it’s inherently hilarious to see movies treat him like a living legend with the raw screen presence and effortless cool of Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee combined. I say this as a guy whose Chuck Norris collection numbers somewhere in the high teens. His movies are good for a laugh, but if you’re looking for a hero you can actually believe in and not a narcissistic rodeo clown, he’s not your man.

  40. No objections there, Mister M. But having grown up in the stone age he really was a top of the line VHS hero for a few years. And I just can’t shake that.

  41. I can appreciate that. I came up in the heyday of Sly and Arnold but I watched a ton of Chuck movies as a kid and never noticed what a knob he was. That was a fun realization to have when I revisited his movies as an adult.

  42. Of course we only turned to Chuck when we had seen everything with Eastwood, Reynolds, Lee and Bud & Terence…

  43. I too came up when Arnold and Sly were still box office kings (I was born in ’83). The thing with Chuck is I watched a lot of his movies because they were always around. My family isn’t American and in their country (Dominican Republic) his movies were actual theatrical events.

    So my cousin who was born there in the 70’s used to always rent and tape his movies. Ironically my cousin became a drug dealing gangster later in life as a teen and got killed on a horrible Christmas Eve when he was pushing 40 about 7 years back not long after trying to get out. To know that Chuck Norris always hated those types due to his personal politics always made it kinda ironic to me that he dug his crap so much.

    I don’t remember any of his movies going to the theaters here in America except SIDEKICKS which I did see on the big screen along with the rest of the teens and kids in washington heights nyc and THE HITMAN which I also think I saw at the flicks but can’t really remember too well.

    Chuck Norris movies were stupid to me even as a kid but they were always serviceable. Between that and his cartoon TV show I could say I was exposed to a lot of his shit as a kid even though I was around for his latter stuff more so than his earlier stuff. I never really went out of my way to rent a Chuck Norris movie or anything. I was kinda weird in the sense that I would track down anything with Tim Thomerson & Fred Ward in it over a Chuck Norris movie any day when I went to the video store. There are certain actors you gravitate towards and Ward and Thomerson were those type of guys to me. Nevertheless I still watched Chuck’s stuff too whenever I could and I do feel it has it’s place even if I haven’t revisited the majority of those since I was a kid.

    When Chuck started talking about his politics and religious beliefs in every interview during the mid 90’s is when I realized what a hilariously self centered square he really was. Nevertheless it never really affected my opinions of his movies back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Even the TV stuff because we wouldn’t have clips like Walker front kicking a dude through the windshield of a station wagon on youtube and to me those are always inspirational in their own quirky way. Yet it was always funny to see this dude with the hilarious toupee and some embellished stories trying to act like he was Mr. Righteous all the time. So yeah at some point I too did realize he’s not somebody we’re supposed to ever take seriously but again his Cannon movie output to me is worthy of a place in the entire historical landscape of the type of cinema we all love and fight for everyday in our own ways.

  44. I feel I have to add that Mr Norris time as a video king only lasted until gents like Kosugi and Dudikoff entered the scene.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>