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The Delta Force

If you want to go back in time and experience the box office smash action films of the 80's, look no further than 1986's Lee Marvin/Chuck Norris hit THE DELTA FORCE.

One of those classic 70's and 80's thrillers with all the casts pictures at the bottom of the poster and our heroes firing blazing guns, the film is surprisingly straight forward.

An airliner on its way from Athens to Rome is hijacked by terrorists led by Robert Forster (overacting but in all fairness doing his best with the stereotypical role of "Abdul"). This puts the usual plane full of passengers in peril, including George Kennedy, Joey Bishop, Shelley WInters and Martin Balsam. (You'd think Kennedy would avoid planes by now after 4 Airport flicks....)

The Delta Force is called in, providing plenty of excitement and firepower.

Some observations from a 2015 perspective:

* How in the hell did Chuck Norris become such a huge star. I have seen ventriloquist dolls less wooden than Chuck. He is B A D.

* Lee Marvin blows Norris off the screen even when they are both silent on screen. Marvin was a breed of tough movie star that no longer exists and that's a shame!

* Some of the stars surprise you with how good they are, including Joey Bishop playing it straight, Bo Svenson as our pilot and Martin Balsam as a Jewish tourist targeted because of his faith.

* The music score by Alan Silvestri is very good. He would go on the following year to "Predator", "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The Abyss".

* The screenplay is as bad as you'd expect, stuffed with cliches, stereotypes and horrific dialogue

But somehow, it rises a bit above expectations as a satisfying example of 80's action. Granted, those expectations are about as big as Chuck Norris's emotional non-existent.

Look for Liam Neeson and Kevin Dillon (Entourage) in small roles as members of the Delta team.

Dumb, but nostalgic and sprinkled with some surprisingly effective dramatic moments, we'll give THE DELTA FORCE a C.

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