THE PRESIDENT’S MAN (2000)
Directed by: Michael Preece & Eric Norris
Screenplay: Bob Gookin
Starring: Chuck Norris, Dylan Neal, Jennifer Tung, Soon-Tek Oh & Ralph Waite
We all know Chuck Norris is the ultimate bad ass and as All American as apple pie but damn, The President’s Man might just be the most patriotic film the bearded butt kicker has ever made. Even more so than the epic awesomeness that is Invasion USA. Hell, it might be the most patriotic film period! Ok, enough hyperbole. The one thing The President’s Man is, is the whole Chuck persona personified to the extreme: even more so than the rest of his ass kicking back catalogue. I mean he’s a badass martial artist (obviously!), he’s the Prez’s number one soldier meaning he is on constant standby should the Prez find himself in trouble or, say, his wife needs rescuing (which she does in the hilarious opening sequence!) and, well, everybody walks around like he is some kind of messiah and I wouldn’t be surprised if he could shit gold!
I’m not ragging on Norris, I enjoy his films, but the Chuck Universe is founded on absurdness (and awesome butt kicking!) and The President’s Man might just be the accumulation of said absurd universe (and awesome butt kicking!) making it the most “Chuck” movie ever made. Unfortunately it’s not his best. However, it ain’t that bad. Sure it’s got all kinds of flag waving craziness and action madness (I mean he rescues the first lady in the opening action sequence by jumping off the top off a high rise and dumping her into the sea!) but it’s a load of silly fun and the action ain’t bad either.
Norris, after the funky rescuing the first lady opening sequence, admits he might be getting “too old for this shit” (though he doesn’t actually swear!) and decides to train a new recruit to be the next President’s Man. That new recruit is all round, do-the-right-thing, tough guy (and occasional douche!) Deke Slater (Neal). Cue lots of training montages, Norris dishing out cod philosophy along with the kicks, male bonding and a nice amount of neck breaking action. There are also some nasty dudes, including genre stalwart Soon-Tek Oh (who wouldn’t you know it, Norris has a grudge against!), up to no good with some plutonium for Norris and his new recruit to thwart come the end.
The President’s Man is as barmy as this review but it at least remembers to have a little fun as there is a slight James Bond vibe going on with Norris’ character and while there is no getting away from the overt Chuckness, patriotism and just general ridiculousness, the training scenes are well done and the action sequences are effectively crunchy and punchy.