Hero and The Terror

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Jul 01, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Remember when we recommended An Eye For An Eye as a go-to 1980s Chuck Norris action vehicle? (It was, like, two days ago.) We proposed then that Norris’ films not be judged by their quality—or lack thereof—but instead by the number of times in it that Norris kicks a bad guy. An Eye For An Eye had 40 bad guy kicks—a healthy number for a Norris-starring vehicle—while we only counted a scant 11 in 1988’s Hero and The Terror. That’s a bad sign. 

In Hero and The Terror, Norris plays a cop named Danny O’Brien—nicknamed “Hero”—who became a celebrity when he put away notorious serial killer Simon Moon, nicknamed—you can probably guess it—“The Terror.” Danny’s life is gosh-darned fantastic until Moon manages to escape from jail using only dental floss and the prison’s art supplies. The killer sneaks off and sets up shop inside Los Angeles’ posh Wiltern Theater, snapping the necks of employees and Hollywood starlets as they attend a prestigious movie premiere. Instead of shutting down the theater, the city turns to Danny O’Brien to put The Terror away for a second time. 

By this point in Norris’ career, he’d long been christened Cannon Films’ star child and had been the lead actor in more than a dozen action flicks. Hero and The Terror was an attempt to diversify his roles, and to move away from the martial arts movies he’d become famous for appearing in. You might ask, then, what is Chuck Norris doing in a movie if he isn’t kicking guys? The answer, we’re afraid, is acting—which is something he is very, very bad at. A surprisingly small amount of screentime is dedicated to Danny’s pursuit of the murderer; rather, the movie focuses on the cop’s relationship with girlfriend Kay (soap opera regular Brynn Thayer), who is pregnant with his first child. Instead of kicking bad guys left and right, we watch Chuck Norris do things like attend OBGYN appointments, take her shopping, unpack her moving boxes, and celebrate her birthday over an incredibly drawn-out dinner scene. Chuck Norris spends 70% of the movie trying to convey to the audience how much his character loves the mother of his child, which makes it all the more baffling when he eventually takes her to visit the movie theater that's the known hide-out for a notorious serial killer!

Ugh, the plot of this movie barely makes sense, and Chuck Norris doesn’t even have the decency to kick that many faces in before it wraps up its amazingly tedious 96 minutes. History shows us that Chuck Norris never became a viable romantic lead. (He followed this movie with Missing In Action III and Delta Force II before appearing in eight seasons of the kick-tastic Walker, Texas Ranger.)  Extras on the Blu-ray only include the theatrical trailer.

www.kinolorber.com/video.php?id=2034

Author rating: 3.5/10

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