Logan's War: Bound By Honor (1998)


Logan's War: Bound By Honor
(1998)- * * *

Directed by: Michael Preece

Starring: Chuck Norris, Eddie Cibrian, James Gammon, Joe Spano, and Jeff Kober

When Logan Fallon was just ten years old, his parents were killed by the evil Talgorno crime family. His dad was district attorney, and he was putting together the ultimate case against the mobster baddies, so they rubbed him out. While still a young tot, he vowed to kill them all. His uncle Jake (Chuck), who Logan was sent to live with, hears this vow and doesn't object in any way. Jake is a former Army Ranger who trains Logan in Martial Arts, weaponry, and other self-defense tactics.

When he comes of age, the fully mature Logan Fallon (Cibrian) also joins the Rangers because, as his Uncle Jake said, "It's just something I have to do". After winning various medals in combat, Logan decides it's time to execute the mission he's been waiting all these years to complete. He poses as a mob wannabe for the Talgornos and Sal Mercado (Kober) takes him under his wing. Now in the perfect position for revenge, Logan puts his plan in motion. Will he be BOUND BY HONOR to see it through?

Logan's War: Bound By Honor - not to be confused with Logan's Run or Gordon's War - is an entertaining TV movie featuring one of our favorite heroes, Chuckington H. Norris III. At least that sounds as aristocratic as his stature in the action universe would indicate. It must be said that one Eddie Cibrian is the main star here, not so much the Chuckster. But his role is an important one as the mentor to Logan.

He was a kickboxing and boxing champ in the Army, and that's helpful and all, but the kicker (no pun intended) arrives when he informs Logan that he has something called "Proximity Sense". This is an almost-supernatural sixth sense that allows him to sense danger before it happens. He sees red (literally) and then can plan his actions accordingly. That was one of the cooler aspects of Logan's War overall. Yes, it has a very "This is 1998 on CBS" look to it, but it's better than you might think it is. 

The first section of the film starts out in 1983 when Logan was just a kid, but then transitions (and what a transition; it's a movie highlight) into the adult Logan we all know and love. Proving Chuck Norris's eternal qualities, it appears Chuck doesn't age one bit in all those years. The man is truly timeless. 

His young charge, Cibrian, looks like the hybrid of people we've always wanted to see: Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez. Yes, he has qualities of both Zack Morris and A.C. Slater. Too bad he wasn't a student at Bayside High. Then Kelly wouldn't have to choose. He also has a certain Antonio Sabato Jr. air about him, and there are certain similarities to Wolverine (1996) we couldn't help but notice.

It all feels like an extended episode of Walker: Texas Ranger, or perhaps the short-lived spinoff Sons of Thunder. The plot is similar, the look is similar, it was shot in Texas, and Chuck even wears similar clothes. 

There are also notable comparisons that could be made to Chuck outing The Hitman (1991). Firstly, that the plot involves a hitman, but also the subplot involving Cibrian teaching the little boy with the abusive father how to fight. Perhaps piggybacking off of this, the original working title was The Hitman: Bound by Honor, and the title in Germany is Enter the Hitman. If you can imagine a telefilm version of The Hitman, perhaps this is it.

You know you're dealing with pure Americana here because there are several scenes that transition with an eagle in flight. The mobster scenes are amusing, and James Gammon as Chuck's brother-in-law Ben stands out, even amongst genre mainstays like Jeff Kober and Joe Spano swirling around him. It all comes to a winning climax that pushes the action envelope as much as possible for the TV of the day.

If you're looking to expand your Chuck Norris vocabulary, Logan's War: Bound by Honor is a good place to start. Of course, it helps if you're a fan of TV movies, but there's no reason to dismiss this particular Chuck outing. We certainly enjoyed it.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

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