The President's Man (2000)- * * *
Directed by: Eric Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris, Dylan Neal, Soon-Teck Oh, Jennifer Tung, and Stuart Whitman
Joshua McCord (Chuck) is just a simple college professor who teaches the ancient art of Bushido to young punks who look like Frankie Muniz. Or is he? McCord's secret, other life is that he's THE PRESIDENT'S MAN - a highly-trained Delta Force/Special Ops-style commando warrior who has as his special mission to get the President and his wife out of trouble.
When a Brazilian terrorist group named the People's Liberation Army kidnaps Mrs. President and demands 100 million dollars and high-powered weaponry, McCord swoops in to save the day. But he worries that he's getting on in years and that he may have to pass the torch to a President's Man, Jr. After an extensive search, he and his partner Que (Tung) settle upon Sgt. Deke Slater (Neal), a cocky badass/hunk. McCord then seeks the advice of his aging mentor, George Williams (Whitman), and then the extensive training begins.
It turns out they're going to need it, because McCord's old nemesis from 'Nam, General Vinh Tran (Oh), is now in South America and looking to get into the drug trade. The baddies have kidnapped a scientist and his family and is forcing the poor guy to make nuclear weapons for them. But Slater, Que, and McCord are on the case...can they rescue the family and at the same time settle the score with Tran? Find out today!
If you read our review for Logan's War: Bound By Honor (1998), a lot of what we said in that review applies here, because that movie and this are both quite similar. They're both late 90's/early 2000's TV movies produced by Norris Brothers Entertainment for the CBS network and shot in and around the Dallas, Texas area. They seem like extended versions of the classic Walker: Texas Ranger TV show. What might surprise you, however, is how entertaining these movies are. They're not nearly as "bad" as some wags out there say they are. They provide good action, amusing dialogue, and are Chuck all the way. They're even better than some of Chuck's earlier output.
How The President's man differs from Logan's War is that President's Man is more James Bond-esque. Joshua McCord is like a Texas-Fried Bond who gets into a lot of high-flying adventures. There's even a horn-based musical sting that might sound a little familiar. There's even a special room in Chuck's compound for high-tech anti-baddie gadgetry.
There are not one but two extensive training montages as McCord and Que show their new recruit the ropes. The training sequences are set to patriotic country music, as you might expect. More than just Martial Arts and target shooting, there is an alarming amount of gymnastics involved in becoming the President's Man. It was almost Gymkata-esque. To be fair, it does kind of pay off during the Prerequisite Torture scene with Slater, but still, at times we weren't sure if they were training a soldier or Mary Lou Retton.
Maybe we're biased because we saw Logan's War first, but Dylan Neal is no Eddie Cibrian. I know that's controversial and might ruffle some feathers, but, there, I said it. And I'm not ashamed. He's very similar, however, and the plot idea where Chuck trains a new recruit who looks like a soap opera hunk will invariably remind you of Logan's War.
Some further noteworthy aspects of The President's Man include the fact that evil Vietnamese generals have teamed up with Colombian drug lords, and some of the Colombian drug baddies know "Colombian Kung Fu", a funny form of Martial Arts. For a TV movie, there are more neck snaps than you might expect. Also there seems to be a lot of stock footage interpolated into the film in entertaining ways, and the sounds that arise when someone gets punched or kicked sound like Alex Van Halen's snare drum hits. In other words, they're extraordinarily loud.
If you're looking to embark on seeing Chuck's later TV movie career, The President's Man is a fine place to start. Logan's War would do the trick as well. It's recommended for people that have explored every other aspect of Chuck's career and are seeking out more of his output. There's also a sequel, so watch out for that.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty