Delta Force 3: The Killing Game (1991)

Delta Force 3: The Killing Game
(1991)- * *

Directed by: Sam Firstenberg

Starring: Eric Douglas, Nick Cassavettes, Matthew Penn, Mike Norris, Hanna Hasfari, Jonathan Cherchi, and John P Ryan

Wouldn't ya just know it, now there's a new terrorist on the block, an insane homicidal madman named Kahlil Kadal (Cherchi). Evidently, he has a real beef with Miami, Florida and he wants to blow it up with a nuclear device. His motivation for just exactly why he wants to do this is never truly explained, although Miami Vice did go off the air two years before Kadal went nutso, so maybe that's what hacked him off so badly. It's really anybody's guess. 

The only logical way to counteract Kadal, so believes the President (of the United States) is to call in The Delta Force. Charlie (Cassavetes), Sam (Douglas), Richard (Penn) and Greg (Norris) - to avoid further confusion that's Nick, Eric, Matthew, and Mike, respectively - join forces with some Russians, Sergei (Ryan) (of COURSE his name is Sergei), and Irenia (Hasfari). Will the combined forces of the DELTA FORCE, a Russian, and a woman be enough to thwart Kadal's nefarious plans? And who will win THE KILLING GAME?....and what is THE KILLING GAME?

So, yes, there is a third installment in the Delta Force series, and no, it does not feature Chuck Norris. It does feature Mike Norris, so the Norris quota is satisfied. Apparently, Chuck was going to be involved with the project but he backed out at some point. Much like Death Ring (1992) (which also starred Mike Norris), with its infamous box cover touting the appearances of "SWAYZE - NORRIS - McQUEEN", it appears that Delta Force 3: The Killing Game is throwing in all its chips with the idea of featuring celebrity sons in the main roles.

While Nick Cassavetes and Matthew Penn kind of fade into the rest of the Israeli scenery, Eric Douglas explodes off the screen with a somehow-recognizable je ne sais quoi. Director Sam Firstenberg did two things right with DF3:TKG - One, he made Islamic terrorists the focus and not some nebulous, politically-correct threat. This predates Path to Paradise (1997) by quite a few years, and Homeland by many more. Two, he gave Eric Douglas plenty of screen time. His Jerry Trimble-esque antics liven things up. Whenever he's around Douglasin' it up, the movie improves.

The idea of the U.S. and Russia working together was a hot new idea at the time, fresh off the Berlin Wall falling. Of course, there are tensions at first (along with a silly training sequence), but, of course, this "Delta Force 2.0" (or should we say Delta Force 3.0) joins forces to combat the real threat facing both nations. Naturally, after training is complete and the battle begins, there is plenty of punching, kicking, shooting, blow-ups, and a very rapid-fire string of underground bombs (?) that are not far off from underground ninjas. Which in themselves are not far off from Bugs Bunny.

But, sad to say, there are issues here that put a damper on things. The middle section drags, and, as in a lot of Firstenberg films, there is no character development whatsoever. We never really get to know or become emotionally invested in our heroes. Sure, there are a lot of "war heroics" (what war is this again?), but what does it all mean when the characters we're spending our time with are one-dimensional? Yes, I know we're talking about Delta Force 3 here, but I still don't think that's an entirely unreasonable request. But, to counterbalance all that, we do get some funny death noises from the people that do expire, which sound a lot like satisfied grunts. It's hard to know whether they've died violently or have just eaten a large meal.

DF3:TKG doesn't really "feel" like the prior Delta Force films, it kind of feels like its own thing. Despite its lack of perfection, it's still probably worth seeing if you enjoyed the first two Delta Force entries.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett

1 comment:

Port Film Co-op said...

Delta Force two, despite its tragedy in production is a very fine film, way better than the first .. But I think its disrespectful to make a another sequel when considering that tragedy.