Monday, 16 January 2012

Operation Delta Force 2

Chuck Norris is not in this film. That’s because the Operation Delta Force series is unrelated to the plain old Delta Force films. The producers would like it to be known that any confusion is entirely accidental and in no way, shape, or form an attempt to trade on the reputation of the Norris franchise.

So what we get here is a strictly routine military action film. A bunch of no-mark actors, led by Skip Lang (Michael McGrady), are Delta Force. They have to stop international terrorist Lukash (J Kenneth Campbell) who’s hijacked a cruise ship and a Russian submarine.

Unless Lukash gets $25 billion dollars he’s going to fire its nuclear weapons. If anyone attacks him in the sub he’ll sink the cruise ship with all its passengers.

Lang and his team chopper in retake the ship, sneak aboard the submarine, and then kill Lukash and prevent nuclear Armageddon. In an extra twist the captain of the cruise ship is Lang’s estranged father. As if the mission wasn’t tough enough Lang’s got to reconcile his relationship with his Dad.

There’s an impressive amount of action in the film, but it never really gets the blood pumping. The acting is turgid and the script flaccid. Everything is one beat off, with the delivery of dialogue and the cutting of scenes needing to be quicker. It leaves the film feeling longer than it actually is.

Campbell: Panto villain
The film’s directed by Yossi Wein who’s spent his entire career in DTV and who in various roles has worked on Cyborg Cop I-III, US Seals, and American Ninja IV. He’s got some decent pedigree and I thought he’d be able to deliver at this level, but he seriously flunks out here.

That said, the film isn’t without its compensations. The hijacking of the cruise ship is great in a ludicrous way. Lukash’s mercenaries infiltrate the ship's crew as waiters, biding their time as waiters until the ship is out at sea and they can take over the vessel.

It makes you wonder what kind of recruitment policy the cruise line are running that a bunch of burly, crew-cut mercenaries can all get hired on the same ship. Still it’s not often you get to watch a film where all the villains are wearing nice red velvet dinner jackets.

J Kenneth Campbell puts in a suitably pantomime villain turn as Lukash. But he’s got no one to spark off and he’s just left high and dry by everyone around him.

Probably the best scene is the one which opens the films and introduces us to Lang and his team. We meet them as they fly into Iraq to rescue some American soldiers.

They fight their way into a compound meeting heavier resistance than they expected. A helicopter flies firing on our heroes. However, they rake it with enough machine gun fire that it comes crashing down on top of a building, whereupon it blows up in spectacular fashion.



Artistic merit

A great fireball. It actually looks like they blow something up and there’s an impressive scale to the explosion. Although confusingly, after making it look like the chopper and building have been blown to smithereens, in a later scene we can see the semi-intact helicopter on top of the flattened building.

As they like to say in action films: “What the…..?”

Exploding helicopter innovation

In a film that is the dictionary definition of routine I sadly have to report no exploding helicopter innovation.

Michael McGrady: aka the superb Rusty Galloway
Positives

While his performance in this is uniformly wooden I was very excited to see Michael McGrady in the lead role. He’s spent most of career in TV and is currently enjoying a higher profile as a character in the series Southland.

However, I know him best as the voice of Rusty Galloway in the computer game LA Noire. If you’ve ever played the game you’ll know what a delight the sardonic, embittered, world weary Galloway is.

Negatives

The soundtrack to the film is abysmal. It sounds like it’s been farted out in five minutes on a junk shop synthesizer using only the ‘synth trumpet’ setting. Truly horrendous.

Favourite quote

The very puzzling: “Time to load and lock, and rock n roll.”

Everyone knows it’s “Lock and load” and flipping it round misses the rhyming scheme of lock and rock.

Interesting fact

Operation Delta Force doesn’t seem to have served as much of a career springboard for many involved in it. Except for Danny Lerner who wrote the story. After graduating from the world of DTV he’s gone on to work as a producer on The Mechanic, The Expendables 2 and Conan The Barbarian.

Review by: Jafo

2 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to hit these movies, even though they look pretty bad. I may hold off a little bit longer now.

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  2. There's definitely things you'd enjoy in the films. J Kenneth Campbell is good and there's a pock marked guy who leads the take over of the cruise ship who's great as well. However, despite the regular doses of action the films still drag. I wouldn't rush.

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