Thursday, 1 July 2010
FORCED VENGEANCE (1982)
Directed by: James Fargo
Written by: James Fargo & Franklin Thompson
Starring: Chuck Norris, Mary Louise Parker, Camilla Griggs & Michael Cavanaugh
Early and very much barmy Chuck Norris vehicle that hasn't dated very well, suffers from the most absurd voiceover possibly ever but is made watchable thanks to primarily being set in Hong Kong and featuring a ton of hard hitting action courtesy of the man of a million facts. Norris is tough as nails former army dude, now a Hong Kong casino head of security, Josh Randall who doesn't take no for an answer and will punch you square in the face if you do happen to use that word in his presence. When his father and adoptive brother, who run the casino Josh works for, get into trouble with shady "businessman" Raimondi (Cavanaugh) and end up slain, Josh goes on a one man rampage of revenge and bone breaking albeit with two sexy ladies and his Stetson in tow.
Playing to the tilt on Chuck Norris' tough guy image, Forced Vengeance may have been seen as a serious thriller back in 1982 (or maybe not!) but thanks to much subsequent mocking of said image, Norris parading around Hong Kong looking like a cowboy straight out of Texas and his use of a ridiculous voiceover constantly pointing out the obvious and making crude and sexist remarks, the film comes across often unintentionally hilarious. Also choppy editing and pacing, random characters introduced for no reason and an unnecessary rape scene don't help matters either. Not all action movies from the 80s have a nostalgic sheen to them, Forced Vengeance being a prime example of the the tough guy/unstoappble hero image not always dating so well.
Still, Forced Vengeance does have a few things going for it, especially if you are a Norris fan. This being from earlier on in Chuck's career, the film has a definite hard edge courtesy of director James Fargo (who also directed Dirty Harry sequel, The Enforcer). The action is satisfyingly old school and bone crunching, Norris high kicking his way through a surfeit of fisticuffs. The film also benefits from the Hong Kong setting, much of the action nicely shot on location.
No great shakes, not even by the bearded one's standards, but worth a watch for some action with bite and for a giggle at some silly and outdated posing and tough guy antics.