The President's Man: A Line In The Sand (2002)

 The President's Man: A Line In The Sand
(2002)- * * *

Directed by: Eric Norris

Starring: Chuck Norris, Jennifer Tung, Judson Mills, Maz Jobrani, Robert Urich and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson

If you've been following the adventures of Joshua McCord, Que, and Deke Slater (Chuck, Tung, and Mills respectively), you'll know that they now face the greatest threat yet posed to them: international Islamic terrorism! For those that may not know, McCord is a college professor by day and secret warrior by night who is dispatched to solve the President's toughest problems. His daughter Que and his protege Deke round out the team. When terrorists start planting bombs, as they're wont to do, and president Adam Mayfield (Urich) summons them, our triumvirate of heroes snap into action. But will it be too late? Will Chuck Norris stamp out the scourge of terrorism once and for all? He's already drawn A LINE IN THE SAND....

Chuck Norris's TV Movie career ends on a high with A Line in the Sand. It's a lot of fun, very silly, and delivers what you want. I have to say that when we picked up the 3-movie collection of Logan's War: Bound By Honor (1998), The President's Man (2000) and President's Man 2 for two dollars at Goodwill, we were not expecting much. But this trilogy proved to be far more entertaining than we thought it would be. This set exceeded our expectations and A Line in the Sand might be the best of the bunch, because it features Chuck doing what you think Chuck should be doing: killing terrorists. It's a great formula, and it really works here. Like the other entries in the set, it's surprisingly violent for a CBS telefilm, but it also has plenty of laughs along the way. This is what Body Armor (AKA Conway) (1997) should have been. 

Now, since he's the guy Joshua McCord is training because Josh is getting on in years, Deke Slater gets in on most of the action. But that's okay, because he does a great job. But don't go expecting Chuck to be on screen the entire time. A different actor plays Deke this time out, which means in total, they're up to their third hunk. The first was Eddie Cibrian, then Dylan Neal, now Judson Mills. They just can't keep their hunks from running away. As you might expect, this new Deke Slater is the Zack Morris of Dallas. He may crack wise, but he always makes good in the end.

Besides the casting change from Neal to Mills, there are some other noteworthy cast members. Firstly, Robert Urich as the President was a fantastic choice. He looks presidential, that's for sure. I'd vote for him any day. But the Norris brothers snagged yet another casting coup: real-life Republican Senator from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison. While she was in an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger, this is her - to date - only acting role in a film, albeit a TV film. She's better than Gloria Allred, we'll say that for sure. Leave it to the Norrises to always keep us on our toes with surprises like this. It's what keeps you watching. 

In this particular sequel, they took what worked from the first installment and just did it again: a funny opening to to kick things off in grand style, the use of recycled footage, an extensive training sequence, and a slam-bang ending. Hey, if it works, why rock the boat? The training this time around features a very amusing song with lyrics that reference then-hot CBS TV show Survivor among other funny lyrics. 

While this is going on, there is a very Eternal Champions-esque method of whipping Deke Slater into shape. Much like what happened to Rax in that classic Genesis game, red balls come shooting out of holes in the wall and Deke must defend himself against them. When he protests that it's too easy, Que makes him do it blindfolded. And shirtless. But he might already have been shirtless. It's tough to say because he was always shirtless.

In the end, The President's Man: A Line in the Sand (get it? Because they're fighting middle-eastern terrorists?) delivers the goods. While this may have been Chuck's attempt at being topical and serious, it is indeed topical but it's not so serious. But it does have Deke and Joshua shooting terrorists in slow motion while cars are on fire in the background. I'm sure Senator Hutchison enjoyed watching that, as we all did.

For an enjoyable romp with the Chuckster, do check out The President's Man: A Line in the Sand.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

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