There they go again, Americans, blowing shit up! Invading foreign countries! Fighting the terrorists!
In a way this movie is ahead of its time, seeing as how the hijacking of planes really took off many years later, but then again I may not be in with the times. Maybe there were streaks of terror even before my time. Apparently this movie is based upon the real-life hijacking of TWA Flight 847 on June 14 1985, and furthermore it's based upon the Delta Force's Operation Eagle Claw mission, which had a similar drama but ended in failure. According to IMDB the producers wanted the real Delta Force founder Colonel Beckwith to star as leader, but he didn't like the idea at all, so they chose Lee instead. Good choice!
This is the third movie (I think) I've watched where Chuck Norris plays a major, and as always he proves how badass he is plenty of times. The motorbike he rides with equipped missiles and machine guns (James Bond style) is pretty cool, and we get a couple of one-on-one fight scenes, and some crazy stunts. Like the one where he rides the bike in through a window or takes out two enemy jeeps from behind just when they're about to shoot down the plane. At one point when he's riding a bike right past the engine of a jet about to take off he swerves into the motor headfirst, the side of the motor mind you. They cut it out before impact but it really seems as if he runs right into the engine. Which shouldn't be very strange since those things pack a ton of suction, he's lucky he didn't swerve into the front of it!
Overall this is a professional action feast. The terrorists are professional enough, the drama realistic, the soldiers heroic. Of course there are inconsistencies when swarms of terrorists are plowed down with just one casualty on the Delta Force side (which they make a big deal out of) and the death of terrorists is retrospectively justified by how irrationally they act at the end, when at the same time the movie attended to their professionalism with great care at the start of the movie. But what do you expect? It's Chuck Norris, as long as a movie has him it doesn't need consistency! :)
The acting may not be the best in the world, but it's enough to let me enjoy the action. Enough with the patriotic music when the troops storm Beirut though, ok? The victory march just doesn't suit the massacre! But all in all, when the dust is settled and the deed is done, it was good action and I hope to see the sequel soon.
Oh btw, this is Lee Marvin's last movie. I only read it after watching, but I did think he looked a bit worn out during the film, even though he goes strong all the way. Turns out he died the year after this movie came out. RIP Lee. Lee isn't really an actor of my generation, but he's been in a great deal of the movies I've been watching lately, like the Dirty Dozen and that other war movie with Clint Eastwood about infiltrating a mountain hide-out. He's performed in over a hundred titles, which is quite a feat!. I think I'll browse through the list sometime and select a few to watch, just to commemorate the memory. Or find some golden oldies that I've undeniably missed. Until then, time for some more Chuck Norris...
rated 3/5: not bad