Blu-ray Review: Delta Force 2 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020  

Delta Force 2

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Dec 11, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If Cannon taught us anything about sequels, it’s that they only have to be nominally connected to their predecessors. (See: Enter the Ninja/Revenge of the Ninja.) The first Delta Force started off as a harrowing hostage thriller exploitatively based on the real-life terrorist hijacking of TWA Flight 847 before turning into an over-the-top action flick—y’know, the one where Chuck Norris rides a motorcycle that shoots missiles. The studio followed up that jingoist fantasy with this sequel, a massive tonal departure from the first film.

The only significant connection between the two films is Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris), a Delta Force operative and martial arts expert. Since the events of the first movie, he seems to have moved from his cattle ranch to a Florida military base, where he has a new commander (Runaway Train’s John P. Ryan). McCoy and his best pal are tasked with covertly arresting a notorious South American drug lord named Ramon Cota (Billy Drago). They get him back to the United States where he’s immediately released on a pithy bail, and then proceeds to murder McCoy’s friend and his family as revenge. The Delta Force is given the green light to go into San Carlos—the fictional nation where the movie is set, even though it contradicts the film’s full title, Delta Force 2: The Columbian Connection—and shut down their cocaine production through any means necessary. (Wanton violence, mostly.) Legendary badass McCoy is sent in alone first, however, to free three U.S. hostages from Cota’s compound before the rest of the Delta Force arrives to blow it up.

While The Delta Force remained semi-serious until its bonkers third act, Delta Force 2 is over-the-top from the get-go. Original director Michael Winner (Death Wish I, II, and III) was reportedly ousted once Chuck Norris signed on to star, his brother Aaron Norris brought in to replace him; the film was then heavily re-written when Chuck didn’t like the script (and the cash-strapped Cannon couldn’t afford to produce the higher-budgeted first draft.) Delta Force 2 tosses the original’s tentative grasp on realism out the window; McCoy is less the stoic soldier here and more a wise-cracking action hero. The one-liners are cheesy and the bad guy is cartoonish, but the editing and action sequences are fast-paced, making this sequel more consistently entertaining than its predecessor, which spent more than an hour getting around to the meat of its action. The aerial photography and pyrotechnics are also quite good, though perhaps dangerously so. (A tragic helicopter crash during filming killed five crew members and shut down filming for weeks.) While it’s oftentimes an unintentionally silly movie, most ‘80s action fans should know what they’re getting into with a Chuck Norris movie—and there are certainly worse ones than this.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ Blu-ray offers a great sound and visual presentation for the movie; definitely far better than the budget multi-film DVD releases that Delta Force 2 has been found on over the past decade. The disc is short on bonus features, but it does include the theatrical trailer for Delta Force 2 (narrated by Peter Cullen—Optimus Prime!) and two other KLSC Chuck Norris offerings: An Eye for an Eye and Hero and the Terror.

Author rating: 6/10

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