|I used to have this poster on my wall.|
One section talks about the "Legends" of action. All the standards are there, and not just actors, but directors and producers. As one can imagine, there is an entry for Chuck Norris. And this got me to thinking while I was out walking at lunch today. So, here's my top favorite Chuck Norris movies, in order of awesomeness (according to me, YMMV):
1. Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
I know I have made this known in the past, but this is by far my favorite Chuck Norris movie. It's got some really memorable characters, a cool story, and Chuck gets to kick David Carradine's ass. What more could you ask for? It has a wonderful score, reminiscent of the old spaghetti westerns. The babe is one of the hottest of day, Barabara Carrera. And Chuck gets a plethora cool sidekicks that all shine (including a young Robert Beltran, of Star Trek: Voyager fame, and LQ Jones). About the only downside to this film is that they could have picked someone better than Carradine to play Rawley (the main villain). But, I guess he was kind of popular at the time, so there ya go.
2. Forced Vengence (1982)
This one has some really great fights, and focuses more on the martial arts. It was the last true martial arts movie Chuck would do for some years, and it is great. Chuck plays a former Green Beret who has been "adopted" by a Chinese/Jewish casino owner in Hong Kong, and acts as a sort of one-man collections agency. Well, with a setup like that, you can imagine the organized crime shenanigans that go on. Suffice it to say, Chuck kicks all the right asses, and leaves a trail of bodies in a most satisfying manner. The only complaint about this one is that the pacing is kind of slow for a lot of the film.
3. An Eye for an Eye (1981)
This was the first of Chuck's "Karate Cop" movies. The film is actually more of a crime-thriller, with the martial arts mayhem really ramping up in the end. His sidekick in this one is his former martial arts mentor, played by the legendary Mako. The dialogue is decent, the tension and pacing are actually really well-done, and the violence isn't over-the-top, but still exciting. About the only complaints I had were the seemingly shoehorned romance subplot, and Chuck's wardrobe. Yeah, nothing says action like a red v-neck sweater over a white button down shirt.
4. Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990)
While the first Delta Force was a pretty cool military action movie, it lacked any notable hand-to-hand combat. This is remedied in Delta Force 2, which has a good balance of military action (as in gun fights), and martial arts. Also, it has Billy Drago as the main villain, and he's really good in that role. This movie is also cool because it makes the "one man army" shtick a little more believable. I have no real complaints about this one.
5. Firewalker (1986)
Ok, a lot of people hate this film, but I loved it. One thing that stands out is that it was a real acting job for Chuck. He wasn't the stoic everyman, or the strong, silent type, like he usually is. Max Donigan actually has a personality, and some real development. Paired with acting legend, Lou Gossett, Jr., and pitted against Sonny Landham, this movie is just a fun buddy-adventure. The fact that Chuck's character uses martial arts BECAUSE he sucks with a gun makes it really funny in some places. No real complaints about this one, either.
Missing in Action
Code of Silence
I know that there are a lot of movies I have left out. In fact, if I had time, I could have done a top 10, or even 15. But, suffice it to say, regardless of his off-screen political leanings, I am still a pretty big Chuck Norris fan, and I like more of his movies than I dislike.