Country: United States
Director: Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris, Billy Drago, Paul Perry, John P. Ryan, Richard Jaeckel, Begonya Plaza
Music: Frédéric Talgorn
AKA: Delta Force 2: The Columbian Connection
This follow up to Delta Force is in reality a loose reimagining of the James Bond film, Licence to Kill, which was released a year earlier.
As the film opens, the DEA is out to catch notorious South American drug baron, Ramon Cota (Billy Drago). Cota operates out of the fictitious country of San Carlos, which the US have no extradition treaty with. However, as luck would have it, Cota leave the safe haven of San Carlos for Rio, where he is to attend a masquerade ball. The DEA plan to catch him once and for all, and have a surveillance van is on hand to watch his every move. Cota arrives in a limousine, wearing a silver masking enters the ball and mingles with the guests. The DEA agents surround him and close in. They remove the mask and find that it is not Cota, but a decoy. The real Cota, and several of his heavily arms goons take up a position behind the surveillance van. As the goons open fire, the team inside the van are cut to ribbons. Cota sends a message, saying that was only a warning. It is pointless to trey and capture him.
It appears the DEA need a little help. They call in two members of Delta Force, Colonel Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Major Bobby Chavez (Paul Perri). Their superior is General Taylor, played by Cannon Film regular John P. Ryan (Avenging Force / Runaway Train / Death Wish 4). Taylor has found out that Cota will be flying to Switzerland to deposit his money into a numbered account. The plane will fly over US air space for just a few minutes, near the Florida Keys.
McCoy and Chavez manage to smuggle themselves onto the plane, and when it passes over US airspace, they arrest him. Of course, they have to get him off the plane before it is out of their jurisdiction, so McCoy pushes Cota out of the plane. Anyone who has seen Moonraker, will recognise what follows. Later, Cota is brought before a judge, and his bail is set at ten million dollars – which is pocket change to a man like Cota. Chavez, frustrated by a system which will see Cota go free, loses his temper and punches Cota as he leaves the court room. As I mentioned at the top, this film borrows heavily from Licence to Kill, so if you haven’t worked it out yet, Chavez is the sacrificial Felix Leiter character. Cota gets his revenge – and McCoy vows to go in and bring the drug lord down.
While being entertaining in a low brow way, the derivative story content detracts from what may have been a serviceable action flick. Instead the viewer is constantly reminded of better films. Apart from the aforementioned Bond films (Licence to Kill / Moonraker), as Billy Drago is the villain – and he came to prominence as Frank Nitti in The Untouchables, the film also borrows some elements from that film as well. The courtroom scene at the start is reminiscent of the closing of The Untouchables – but here the villain gets away. There is also a replay of the round table scene – sans baseball bat – but non-the-less, you’d have to be blind not to miss the connection.
I have a soft spot for Chuck Norris’ action flicks – but this one doesn’t cut it.