Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 10th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1986
Director: Menahem Golan
Writers: James Bruner, Menahem Golan
Cast: Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Martin Balsam, Joey Bishop, Robert Forster, Lainie Kazan, George Kennedy, Hanna Schygulla, Susan Strasberg, Bo Svenson, Robert Vaughn, Shelley Winters, William Wallace, Charles Grant, Steve James, Kim Delaney
BluRay released: May 5th, 2014
Approximate running times: 129 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £24.99
Content wise, The Delta Force takes its main plot device a terrorist hijacking straight from the headlines. And though there were hijackings before and since this movie was made, the subject matter is more potent than ever since the terrorists’ attacks on 9/11. This film also touches upon another dark moment in history in the way in which one of the terrorists makes a German stewardess reveal who all the Jewish passengers are.
Right from the get go there is a clear distinction between good guys and bad guys, there are no grey areas in this film. This clarity when it comes to everyone’s motivations keeps things moving along at a very brisk pace. And being that this is action film it should not come as a surprise that the action sequences are all top notch. With this film’s most impressive moment of action excellence involving Chuck Norris’s character on a motorcycle chasing terrorists who have prisoners in the back of their truck.
Though Chuck Norris never really received the same financial backing that the majority of his contemporizes did. Throughout the 1980’s he was still one of the most bankable stars working in action cinema. Unfortunately like any good thing there eventually comes a time where it has run its cycle and by the time that Norris had made The Delta Force, his star had already began to wane. With that being said, there is no denying that Norris is the main attraction of The Delta Force.
Besides Norris, the rest of the cast is made up of a virtual who’s who? A few of the notable cast members include Lee Marvin (The Killers) in his final screen role, Bo Svenson (The Inglorious Bastards), Robert Vaughn (‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’), Martin Balsam (Psycho), Shelley Winters (Night of the Hunter) and Robert Forster (Medium Cool) in the role of the leader of the terrorists hijackers. All around this is very strong and they are very good in their respective roles.
Looking back on this film after all of these years though there are elements which date it, the relevance of the subject matter in the world we now live in is why the film has transcended its era while most of its contemporaries remain a product of their time.
The Delta Force comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look vibrant and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp, black and contrast levels look very good throughout. There are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English. The audio for this release sounds great. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. The action sequences sound appropriately robust and the more ambient sounds are well represented. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 56 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and three interviews, the first one with Mark Hartley titled ‘Genre Hijackers’ (14 minutes 43 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), he discusses the history of Cannon Films and its legacy, the second interview with screenwriter James Bruner titled ‘Chuck Norris Scribe’ (21 minutes 48 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), he discusses his various collaborations with Chuck Norris and the third interview is with Commandant Christian Prouteau and it is titled ‘May the Delta Force be With You!’ (23 minutes 30 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), who discusses founding the French GIGN and his role as an instructor in the first Delta Force.
Rounding out the extras is reversible cover art and a forty page booklet that contains a new writing on the film by author John Kenneth Muir and a contemporary article on Cannon Films, illustrated with original archive stills and posters. Overall The Delta Force gets an exceptional release from Arrow Video.