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  Invasion U.S.A. Tiptoe Through The Terrorists
Year: 1985
Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Chuck Norris, Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet, Alexander Zale, Alex Colon, Eddie Jones, Jon DeVries, James O'Sullivan, Billy Drago, Jaime Sánchez, Dehl Berti, Stephen Markle, Shane McCamey
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: A boatload of Cuban refugees are adrift off the coast of Florida, hoping they are not caught by the Americans and sent back from whence they came. As the situation grows desperate, the youngest of the refugees spots a boat flying the U.S. flag approaching; the others are wary, and when the boat pulls up alongside they wait in anticipation until the captain shouts out, "Welcome to America!" The refugees cheer - at least they do up to the point where the captain orders his men to open fire and massacres the lot of them, then boards to open the hatch, revealing the huge stash of narcotics hidden below decks. The captain isn't American at all, in fact he's an enemy of the United States called Rostov (Richard Lynch) with big plans... plans that only one man can put a stop to.

And that man is Matt Hunter, played by the saviour of the free world during the eighties, no, not Ronald Reagan, he was busy, and no, not Sylvester Stallone, he was doing a boxing movie, so that means it has to be: Chuck Norris! Chuck is so hard that he can destroy tens upon hundreds of terrorists while they fire countless rounds at him and not get hit once (well, they might hit him in the beard, but the bullets simply bounce off). Chuck is so hard that he can crush beer bottles with his bare hands, and crush bare hands with his bare hands as well. Chuck is so hard that at the start of the film he only has one friend, and he doesn't even like him.

Yes, Hunter is a loner, but that's what makes him so deadly to his opponents, and when Rostov arrives at his shack in the Florida Everglades to blow him up, knowing that Hunter is the only man who can stop him, Rostov and his henchmen shoot the frog-eating friend instead and leave, thinking that their quarry is obliterated. How little they know. Hunter has exited his property through a back window and survived, vowing vengeance and reluctantly accepting the authorities' offer to help them in their fight against Rostov. For the foreign-accented villain has put into effect his schemes to bring down the Imperialist running dogs of the U.S.A. from within.

I presume Rostov is a Soviet agent, although as far as I could hear nobody mentions the U.S.S.R. but that could be because the main players in the cast did so much whispering. Not only is Hunter a man of few words, but he speaks them quietly as well: "Time to die!" he mutters under his breath, and that's only in a dream. The overriding purpose of this film is to cram in as much mayhem as possible in its one and three quarter hour running time, and you can't say you're shortchanged in that respect as Hunter, the one man army, does his level best to level all of Rostov's men.

Meanwhile, Rostov's men blow up suburbia, incite race riots and destroy shopping malls - all this at the traditional pagan season of Yuletide as well! Christmastime, too. You may be wondering, all this action is all very well, but what about a spot of love interest, but the closest Chuck gets is saving plucky reporter McGuire (Melissa Prophet) from a hail of gunfire; once a loner, always a loner, I guess. The script was written in a blaze of patriotism by Chuck himself, with the help of regular Norris scribe James Bruner and brother Aaron Norris (also the hardworking stunt coordinator here), but seems to delight in the mowing down of Godfearing innocents to give the hero all the excuse he needs to embark on a killing spree (of baddies) of his own. One of the trillions of Cannon action movies of the eighties, Invasion U.S.A. is good for a few laughs, but I suspect there are still those who take this kind of paranoid fantasy seriously. Anything you say, Chuck, just don't sneak up on me. Music by Jay Chattaway.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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