The ’80s was a really weird decade. A decade filled with beefcake action stars, Cannon films, and a little gem called Delta Force among them. However, I must mention the fact that we have Delta Force on sale here at IndieGala, which is not really the motive for this post. Nor is Chuck Norris, but I’ll get to him later in this post.
The 1986 movie and the Delta Force game have very few things in common, and yet plenty. It’s not a direct video game adaptation. Unlike say… Assassin’s Creed, Monster Hunter, Borderlands, Resident Evil video game adaptations. Some of them were successful, some not so much, but that’s besides the point.
And apart from having United States’ Delta Force in the plot (admittedly the title is identical too), there is more than a decade long „separation“ between the two. Delta Force – the movie was released in 1986, while the video game was released in 1998. So, the similarities (if I dare to call them like that) end there.
Delta Force: What’s the game all about?
Well, for one it’s a tactical first-person shooter computer game. Originally developed by NovaLogic, and published by Electronic Arts back in 1998. Furthermore, it’s imagined to be a military simulation loosely based on the United States’ Delta Force.
An elite special operations force of the United States Army. The player is a Delta Force operative, who takes part in military-style operations. Such as destroying military equipment, escorting civilians, or prisoners of war. The missions even involve assassinations of marked targets if the situations call for it.
The game has 40 missions in total, and before each mission, the player can choose the equipment. Besides being a single player, this classic game used to be played as a multiplayer as well, especially for those who wanted to take a break from the mainstream Counter-Strike game. But that’s all great. How about the sub-genre in which the game belongs to?
Delta Force: The appeal of the shooter game
The appeal of the first-person shooter games has been debated and explored relentlessly in the past. However, let’s try and break it down here in this post as well. What’s so great about them you might ask? While they’re first on the target for backlash and accusations that they promote violence, there’s no denying that they’re exciting as hell.
For that reason precisely, the shooter games (especially the first shooter games) dominate the gaming industry. Frankly, they offer a sense of self-reliance. Also, the player can experience actions that are far removed from his reality. I mean what are the chances of any of us becoming a special ops team?
And furthermore, to partake in a mission in some remote region of the world? Slim to none, indeed. These types of games require instant decision-making abilities. Not to mention that they’re a true power of will challenge and a constant improvisation test. And in the end, there’s the sense of the looming and present danger, which is always exciting as well.
So what does it have to do with the movie?
As previously mentioned, the movie is not based on the video game of the same name. It did, however, depict a special ops mission led by Maj. Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Col. Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin). When a group of armed Lebanese terrorists hijacks a commercial plane, the Delta Force is sent in to resolve the crisis, by every means necessary.
This will prove to be a much difficult task than anticipated, and frankly, you’re in for a treat if you decide to watch this movie. It’s peak Chuck Norris movie, and despite the terrible reviews, I grew to like it. It’s one of my favorite childhood movies. I vividly remember my local TV channels playing it nonstop. Not to mention I was happy to re-watch it – just recently.
Robert Forster makes one hell of a terrorist, while Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris make an unlikely bad-ass duo. Besides, the movie was partially inspired by the real live event – the 1985 TWA hijacking/standoff incident. Sadly, this was Lee Marvin’s last film, before his death.
Lee Marvin’s last movie
Best Actor Winner Lee Marvin passed away just one year after the release of Delta Force and was reportedly very ill during the shooting of the movie. He was a real pro and decided to shoot the movie, despite the pain and his age. But while I’m on the subject of Oscar winners…
Can you believe that this movie has 4 Oscar winners in the cast? Playing next to Chuck Norris no less? I know that it sounds incredible, but besides Lee Marvin, there are three additional Oscar winners as well. That’s right. Martin Balsam, George Kennedy, and Shelley Winters are Oscar winners as well. In fact, Shelley Winters has two Oscars to her name!
I can’t even begin to imagine that a movie like this would have a cast like this one. Now, it would be a no-brainer with the presence of Netflix and Hulu. But back in 1986, it would have been a really risky move on their part.
A textbook Cannon movie
Do you remember Cannon? They made all of your favorite childhood movies. Runaway Train, Kickboxer, Highlander, Cobra, Bloodsport, and my personal favorite Barfly. Love them or hate them, Cannon Films entertained us on a budget. Ultimately even the great Roger Ebert was a huge fan of Delta Force.
He even gave it three out of four stars in his review, calling it “a well-made action film that tantalizes us with its parallels to real life.” But there’s no denying that Delta Force checked every box in the Cannon guide to bad-ass film-making. From the action-packed plot to guns blazing muscled stars. And Chick Norris with a god damn bazooka. Can’t forget about that.
And while I’m on the subject of Chuck Norris… You can really see his love for the action genre. Also, Delta Force came out during the peak of his fame and action star status. But at the same time, as you’re watching this movie you can also notice two distinct things.
First and foremost how skilled and physically prepared he is in the action scenes (and there are a lot of action scenes here). Secondly, how he’s miles away from the talent of his co-stars. Lee Marvin seems a bit out of place at times, but his presence is so domineering you want more of him.
Did you like Delta Force? Or you prefer games like Metro Exodus for instance? What are your thoughts on the video game? Tell us all about it. We’d love to know your impressions about everything.