• Delta Force (Scorpion Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: September 1st, 2020.
    Director: Menahem Golan
    Cast: Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Robert Forster, Steve James, Robert Vaugh, Bo Svenson, George Kennedy, Joey Bishop
    Year: 1986
    Purchase From Amazon

    Delta Force – Movie Review:

    Who doesn’t love a good tough guy movie? It’s a well-known fact that sometimes the toughest guys of all hide their tough guyness underneath their beards. Enter Chuck Norris, the Karate Commando himself (remember that series?). Team him up with Lee Marvin, throw in Steve ‘American Ninja’ James, Robert Vaughn, Bo Svenson, George Kennedy, Robert Forster playing a middle eastern terrorist and some gratuitous Shelly Winters footage and you’ve got The Delta Force – arguably one of the finest tough guys movies to come out of the Cannon Films Tough Guy Movie Factory of the 1980s.

    Palestinian terrorists calling themselves the New World Revolutionary Organization, led by Abdul (Robert Forster), hijack a jetliner on its way from Europe to New York. Their demands include relocating the flights destination to Beirut, and as terrorists often do, they intend to kill off passengers one at a time until they get what they want. The Pentagon, once they get word of the situation in the skies, calls in their best – the Delta Force –a crack team of anti-terrorist commandos lead by Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Colonel Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin). These guys are the best at what they do, and what they do is infiltrate, track down, and eliminate terrorist groups in situations like this. As the tagline on the poster says, ‘they don’t negotiate with terrorists… they blow them away!’ Thankfully, to help them blow the terrorists away, Chuck Norris has a motorcycle that launches rockets, while George Kennedy, as a Catholic priest named Father O’Malley, accompanies the Jewish passengers the terrorists plan to do away with all while holding out hope that someone will save them before that can happen.

    Loosely based on an actual terrorist hijacking (TWA Flight 847 which was taken over by Hizbullah terrorists in 1985 – though the plane in the movie is branded AWT – close enough, right?), The Delta Force is full of eighties action movie clichés and racial stereotypes sure to offend a lot of people who take offence to such things. If you can chalk it up to part of the era in which it was made, however, you can enjoy what would sadly be Lee Marvin’s last film for the slam bang brainless shoot’em up that it is. Cannon Films was and still is famous for churning out the modestly budgeted action movies that typify the '80s using their stable of action movie regulars (Norris, as well as Bronson being the big two, with honorable mention going to American Ninja's Michael Dudikoff), and The Delta Force is a prime example of just how mindlessly entertaining some of their catalogue is. It starts off seriously enough, but once Chuck Norris has posed as a Canadian news reporter to make his way into the country, all bets are off and before you know it Chuck is sliding down conveniently placed wires off the tops of buildings and shooting anyone who gets in his way.

    Faux patriotism crammed down our throats, a massive body count with minimal American casualties, gangs of dirty looking Arabic despots up to no good (handled in a way that was very similar to how Asians were handled in a lot of movies made in and around the era of the Second World War) and the coolest (albeit utterly ridiculous) assault motorbike ever made all make for a fast paced film that throws historical accuracy out the window. Menahem Golan’s direction is decent, Chuck Norris is as wooden as ever (taking on Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson levels of non-acting in a few scenes) and Lee Marvin is as grouchy and cantankerous as you could ever hope and the film is all the better for it. It isn’t Norris’ best film (that’d have to be The Octagon) nor does it feature any ninjas but it does blow a lot of stuff up really nicely and provide plenty of great one liners, lots of excellent action scenes and all manner of awesome flag waving lunacy. For that, we thank you Cannon Films.

    Delta Force – Blu-ray Review:

    Delta Force comes to Blu-ray presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio taken from a ‘new 2K scan from the interpositive’ and taking up 34.8GBs of space on the 50GB disc. This is an improvement over the previous Blu-ray releases from Arrow Video and before that from MGM, especially in terms of detail and color reproduction. Colors look much more natural here, with the earlier releases now looking a bit flat in comparison. The framing is slightly different too, with a bit more information now present. Detail is stronger and there’s better depth and texture to the image, which remains free of noise reduction or edge enhancement throughout. There are no issues with noticeable compression artifacts and skin tones look good here too. All in all, this is a very nice looking presentation.

    The English language 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track, in the film’s native English, sounds great. There’s impressive clarity here, the levels are balanced nicely and there are no problems with any hiss, distortion or sibilance. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    The main extra is a selection of archival interviews with Robert Forster, Alain Jakubowicz and Sharon Khan (who worked as Menahem Golan’s personal assistant during this period), edited from the Electric Boogaloo sessions. Collectively, they cover how they wound up working for Cannon Films, what it was like shooting in Israel, what it was like on set and some problems that they ran into, working under Golan as a director on the feature, the intended original cut and more. Forster also chimes in about his character and his thoughts on playing the heavy in the picture.

    We also get a new twelve-minute interview with screenwriter James Bruner, who speaks quite candidly about how he first connected with Cannon Films and how some of his early work there allowed him to climb the ranks and eventually write Delta Force.

    Rounding out the extras is a theatrical trailer for the feature, bonus trailers for a few other action films in the Scorpion Releasing catalogue (The Octagon, Lone Wolf McQuade, Death Wish 3, Death Before Dishonor and Sword Of The Valiant.), menus and chapter selection options. Note that the featurettes that were included on the aforementioned Arrow Video Blu-ray release remain exclusive to that disc.

    Delta Force – The Final Word:

    Delta Force holds up well, a really solid slice of eighties action moviemaking with a fantastic cast and a few memorable set pieces. Scorpion Releasing’s Blu-ray looks and sounds great and contains a few nice extra features as well. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Delta Force screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Robert Forster as Abdul. Still cracks me up hahaha.