Code Of Silence
Released by: MGM
Released on: July 17, 2012.
Director: Andrew Davis
Cast: Chuck Norris, Henry Silva, Ralph Davis
Year: 1985 Purchase From Amazon
Directed by Andrew Davis, Code Of Silence is one of Chuck Norris’ better movies. Not only does it contain some seriously solid action set pieces and a fun supporting effort from the mighty Henry Silva, but it’s able to tell a decent story too. Chuck’s acting is no better or worse here than any of this other projects, but no matter, this is one of those B-grade action movies where everything comes together nicely.
Norris plays a cop named Eddie Cusack who may not always do everything by the book but who is a legitimately honest man. When we meet him, he and a few other Chicago cops are about to take down the Comacho gang but when a rival gang shows up and opens fire, it all hits the fan. The two men in charge of the warring gangs, Tony Luna (Mike Genovese) and Luis Comacho (Henry Silva), basically declare open season on one another and Cusack and the rest of the cops need to work overtime to stop them from destroying the city.
Unfortunately during the opening incident, a cop named Cragie (Ralph Foody) shoots an innocent bystander. His partner, made Cusack’s partner when his own is shot, backs Cragie’s story that the kid had a gun on him but Cusack is suspicious. As the gang war starts to reach a boil, Cusack has to deal with even more strife from within the department – good thing he’s got a robot defense system called PROWLER to help him save the day, especially when Luna’s daughter, Diana (Molly Hagan), winds up in trouble herself.
Code Of Silence starts off with a really strong opening action set piece and then rests for a bit to actually build a story before ramping things up once again in the last half of the film. As such, the film doesn’t have as much non-stop punching, kicking and shooting as some of Norris’ other films but it rarely feels short on action. The plus side here is that we instead get a much stronger story with some better writing and more interesting characters. The gang war aspect of the movie has been done before but there are a few good twists here, particularly involving the side of the story that focuses on the investigation into Cragie’s actions.
Chuck’s not going to win any awards for his performance here but he offers as much range and emotion as he ever really has before. He excels in the action scenes and does the tough guy things well. Henry Silva is great here as always, even if he’s a little underused, while Molly Hagan does a fine job in the most substantial female role in the movie as the mouthy daughter of the mob boss. The inclusion of the goofy PROWLER robot is hokey and dates the film but otherwise, this is one that holds up well as a solid mix of action and police thriller with a game cast and some solid action set pieces.
MGM presents Code Of Silence on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 that looks very good. Detail is noticeably improved over the DVD release from a few years ago (which was full frame) and color reproduction feels more natural here. The film is grainy as it should be but doesn't suffer from any serious print damage. Black levels are pretty good and skin tones look nice and natural, there’s no evidence of any noise reduction having been applied here. This isn’t going to melt your eyes the way the latest and greatest mainstream blockbuster might but it is, overall, a very nice high definition presentation that brings out a lot more appreciable detail, texture and color than we’ve seen for this movie on home video in the past.
The English DTS-HD Mono track on this disc is also fine. The film’s score sounds good, the dialogue is easy to understand the levels are properly balanced. There are no issues with hiss or distortion and everything comes through cleanly and clearly. As this is an older mono mix you obviously can’t really expect much in the way of channel separation or fancy surround action but for what it is, this older single channel tracks sounds just fine. A French language DTS-HD Mono track is included as are removable subtitles provided in English SDH and Spanish.
Extras? Nothing except for a pop-up menu that offers chapter selection and subtitle set up – that’s it, there isn’t even a trailer here.
The Final Word:
While the lack of extras for one of Chuck Norris’ best films is disappointing, MGM is offering this one up in very nice shape with a rock solid transfer and good audio at a fair price. The movie itself holds up well, a great mix of action and suspense.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!