Friday, July 27, 2012

Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold

Cannon was on its last legs when it produced this desperate sequel to one of its biggest hits. It was titled DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD in its brief theatrical run in 1990, but has since been retitled DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION on television and home video. MGM released it in over 900 theaters, but audiences had tired of Chuck Norris as quickly as they had embraced him just a few years before. The DELTA FORCE sequel opened in 11th place the same weekend DARKMAN debuted at number one.

Norris returns as Colonel Scott McCoy, who helps DEA agent Page (Richard Jaeckel) bring down a ruthless South American druglord named Ramon Cota (Billy Drago), who has a gas chamber in his house. DELTA FORCE 2 is an eminently watchable action picture, despite its box office failure, armed with fights, big explosions, and hilariously disparate acting styles (RUNAWAY TRAIN’s John P. Ryan is acting big enough for three movies, which is fair because Norris is acting for one-third of one). It’s also shockingly mean-spirited—Cota kills a baby (off camera) so he can smuggle cocaine inside its corpse.

Aaron Norris, directing his third Cannon picture, and second unit director Dean Ferrandini assemble some exciting action sequences, including a helicopter/limousine chase, a skydiving freefall, and a climactic assault upon Cota’s mountain fortress, which is guarded by dozens of goons wielding machine guns and a few missile-launching choppers. What scenery Drago doesn’t chew is eagerly pounced upon by Ryan, who is hilarious as McCoy’s superior officer. Chuck says even fewer words than usual, but his feet and fists do plenty of talking.


The Goodkind said...

I agree that Platoon Leader was Aaron's best Cannon flick, but I'm torn between Forest Warrior and Top Dog as his all time best.

Jack Badelaire said...

I love and own DF 1, and it's been ages since I've seen this one. Doesn't Norris at one point sidestep-dodge an RPG fired at him, Matador style?

Dan said...

Saw this at the drive-in on a double feature with DROP DEAD FRED!