Directed by: Joseph Zito
Category: Badass Cinema
First thing you need to know when going into this is that Invasion U.S.A. takes place in an alternate reality of 1985 where things happen for no apparent reason, Chuck Norris can go up against an army of thousands and not get a single gunshot wound, and has the ability to be at many different places at once at just the right time.
This was one of those mid 80's Chuck Norris flicks that I always meant to watch, but just never got around to it. And I love a good Chuck Norris flick, Lone wolf McQuade being my all time favorite. Which is surprising that I've never seen this one until now. I'll be frank, this film is completely silly, but oh so much fun. It's probably the most perfect example that putting action before plot can still create a badass picture.
In a hysterical way, this film is so naive, so silly and so simple that you can't help but laugh throughout. But it's fine, because your not here to watch a movie with intrigue, plot details or even well thought out characters. No, you're here because you want to see Chuck Norris kick some Russian ass and boy does this film deliver.
As stated before, if your looking for answers as to "why" these people are doing what there doing or "why" these things are happening you ain't gonna get it here. They just happen so you just have to accept it and enjoy the ride.
Chuck Norris plays an ex CIA agent named Hunter who's retired and now lives in the swamp wrestling alligators and whatnot. Why he's retired at such a young age and why he decides to live in a swamp of all places after retirement when he could certainly be living comfortably on an ex-CIA agent's pension is of course not explained. In the meantime this Russian bad guy, here played by the 80's go-to guy for bad guy roles Richard Lynch, teams up with this Middle Eastern bad guy to create an army of a couple thousand to start a war in the U.S.A., Florida to be exact. Why? We don't know. They just are. So they recruit a couple thousand guys from different nationalities and different ethnic backgrounds to start killing people, blowing up houses, blowing up school buses full of children, churches full of people and all that. Why they think this army of a couple thousand can actually take on the entire United States is also never answered. These recruits aren't necessarily promised anything so why they agree to wreck havoc on the United States is a really good question too. Because they're not doing it for money, you have to wonder what they have to gain from killing innocent people including children. But wait, said Russian mastermind and Hunter have a connection. Hunter almost killed him once a long time ago when he was about to shoot a bazooka into a building full of people. Hunter pulls a gun to his head and whispers "Time to die", but decides against it and does not kill him after all. That's all were given as far as any history between the two goes. And to this day, Russian baddie still has waking nightmares of that historical event in his life. So here's a ruthless guy who kills thousands upon thousands of people on almost on a daily basis, women and children included, and he has nightmares of this one guy who almost shot him once, but didn't. Hilarious. The CIA has figured out who this mastermind is and of course try to recruit Hunter back into the game so he can help take him down. But he keeps refusing saying only that "You should have let me kill him when I had the chance."
So that's it as far as plot. The entire film consists of one action set piece after another. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised at how violent this film was. Especially coming from the mid 80's where we had our Commando's, Rambo's and our Terminator's. All full of action sure, but not nearly as much as what's on display here. And that's really what this film has going for it. It's a plethora of nonstop insane action and violence from beginning to end.
Chuck Norris helped write the screenplay here, which might explain a "lot" of what's going on. For one, he rarely utters a single word in the entire film. If he does, it's usually a lame smartass remark to a baddie right before he's about to kill him like "If you come back here, I'm gonna hit you with so many rights, your gonna beg for a left". For real, that's what he says when he actually opens his mouth throughout the entire film and it's hilarious. He also seems to magically appear whenever one of the thousands of bad guys is about to do something bad like blow up a buss full of kids or blow up a church full of people. He just.......appears out of nowhere and thwarts anything bad that was about to happen. Weird when you consider that there are literally thousands of these bad guys all over the city doing something like that and he happens to be there all at once to stop it. Come to think of it, they should have just dyed his hair black, painted a skull on his chest and called this The Punisher. It would have worked. He also drives around this seemingly indestructible old black truck that can get shot at thousands of times and still run like a dream. It must be a special magic truck. They don't mention anything about it in the movie, but that can be the only explanation. So while he drives around town in his magic black truck in the middle of the night killing bad guys and shooting endless rounds out of his two mini Uzi's, he also seems to keep forgetting to button his shirt. It must be really hot in Florida.
There was a scene where the Russian Baddie and his men actually go all the way to the swamp where Hunter lives and blow up his home with dozens of explosions. Yet when they leave, none of them stops to see if he's actually dead. They just drive away in there boats. And when anybody is shooting whether it be a rocket launcher, bazooka, Uzi, machine gun or pistol, there is no need to reload ever as they are magic guns that do not ever need reloading. Uzi's seem to be the most accurate guns, at least for Chuck Norris as he can shoot them from a shoulder strap connected to his sides without actually aiming or reloading. He just points and shoots and gets them every time. If he doesn't have his Uzi's, then there always seems to be a rocket launcher handy laying around somewhere fully loaded and ready to shoot. And that's how the movie ends. He finds the Russian bad guy after a lengthy shootout with his men and when he's face to face with him, outta nowhere finds a rocket launcher and again says "Time to die" and blows him to pieces. The next shot is a freeze frame of Chuck Norris and then the credits roll. Freaking classic!
That's how you end a movie! The second the bad guy dies. Who needs answers? Just end the movie and be done with it!
I loved every second of this movie. You get the sense that they took all of this incredibly serious, which is why it comes off silly more than 25 years later. But hey, that's how they made them back then and I wish to god they did that more often these days. Though utterly ridiculous, this is an action lover's dream from beginning to end with Chuck Norris playing "The" badass of all badasses here. I'm surprised that the director, Joseph Zito, didn't have a bigger career in the action genre. Before this he helmed The Prowler, a pretty decent horror film, Missing in Action and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, the one with Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover-one of my favorites in this series. But after this his career seemed to taper off which is shame because he handles the action sequences and violence masterfully here. I would have loved to see more of his work. I'd have to say that now Invasion U.S.A. goes head to head with Lone Wolf McQuade as my favorite Norris flick. If your looking for an action fix, Invasion U.S.A. is your answer.