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Review The Delta Force (1986): An action classic that deserves more recognition instead of the unfounded hate!

genre: action, adventure, thriller

The Delta Force is a film I have very fond memories of and am real surprised to see it being rated so poorly on IMDB.com. Then I read the comments and saw remarks that had very little to do with the quality of the film and more with their own political and religieus views. If there had been elements in this film that I found insulting you can be sure I would mention this. But apart from the usual cinematic liberties there was nothing offensive about this film. As an action thriller this easily is one of the best there is.

Despite The Delta Force being an action adventure film and Chuck Norris being the star a lot of time and attention is paid up to set up events. More than an hours is taken to depict the hostage situation where you get to the meet the hostages, the hostage takers and the men of the Delta Force. Tension and suspense is build up properly creating an environment where the hostage takers could kill at any time. The main villain of the story is named Abdul. He is played by Robert Foster. And he took his role very seriously. Ruthless, fanatic but pragmatic and practical. The other hostage taker is named Mustafa played by David Menachem. He is a little more passionate and explosive. But also shows kindness and humanity. He is not a monster. Those details are important because usually these people are very conflicted about what they are doing. Most terrorists do believe they are doing it for the right reasons. Not that I condone their actions. But if we ever want to deal with this in a good way we have to try to understand where they are coming from. Briefly they pay attention to this in this film and for that alone it gets a high mark from me. 

Another element that had an impact on me was the singling out of the Jewish men from the rest of the passengers. Stewardess Ingrid played by Hanna Schygulla is given the task to do this and she blatantly refuses to do so. When asked why she says that she has moral problems with this since she is German and that it would be an enormous injustice to the people who survived the concentration camps. If you leave out current stance from Israelis and situation in Israel concerning Palestine then you can't deny that this scene does point out the horrors of the past something we should never forget. Naturally I understand that the situation isn't black and white and events back then and now are far more complex. However the film isn't about that. It simply is a film where a couple of bad guys do something bad and the good guys try to stop them. Are Americans good? If you apply the knowledge we have now then you wouldn't be able to agree to that without raising eyebrows. Still you aren't supposed to apply current knowledge. You should view them as the good guys. Because Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin and Steve James just want to rescue all the people who need rescuing. 

Of course the action will be over the top and too spectacular. But strangely enough it is incredibly cathartic and joy inducing to see the bad guys get what they had coming. So many moments that will make you root for good old Chuck. The Delta Force is an action classic that actually started the Die Hard thing two years before Die Hard did. You better recognize!

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