Friday, July 20, 2012

Terror Week: Hero and the Terror

Chuck Norris can star in Canon Films and still be bad-ass.  Today's film is Hero and the Terror, a Canon vehicle for the Black-Belt.  It's a star-studded least to me.  Aside from Norris, the villain is Jack O'Halloran (aka Non from Superman II), Billy Drago, Ron O'Neal (from Superfly) and Steve James (from American Ninja 1-3).  I'm in C-List Movie Star Heaven!  The plot involves Norris' Cop bringing down O'Halloran's killer (Simon Moon) and becoming a Hero.  The man/creature escapes years later & it's up to our hero to stop him again.  The problem- he got lucky the last time.  Can he stop a menacing killer that the Police won't acknowledge is even alive?  It's Chuck Norris- obviously he will.  To see how it all breaks down, read on...
In the opening scene, Norris has a rough time dealing with the hulking Simon Moon.  In a rare, artistic touch, this scene is played out in a dream-like fashion.
Can you stare down that face?

Well, Chuck Norris can.  He manages to get lucky and take the guy down.   Things look up for him, even if he doesn't like the 'Hero' name that he now has.
However, in a scene that's begging for a Mythbusters test, he saws the bars of his cell with dental flosses covered in some sort of silt.  I really, really question this.

His escape does not go smoothly, however, as he crashes the van he's escaping in and seemingly dies.  The movie never explains how he survived, but whatever.
While Moon kills people, let me focus on the amusing casting choices here.  First up, Steve James as a partner of Norris.  He's great here, but doesn't do much.  Boo.
Renegade's Branscombe Richmond (the Indian guy) shows up as a sarcastic crook taken down by Norris.  It's not related to the plot, but it is hilarious.

If you want to see Norris crack jokes and jaws in one scene, it's worth it!
Lastly, genre Icon Billy Drago shows up for two scenes, but only one with dialog.  He's 'The Terror's' Psychiatrist and talks to Norris about his problems with 'Hero worship.'
Simon Moon has been hiding out in a newly-renovated Theater.  When Norris asks them to keep a Cop on duty, they pick James.  Sadly, he goes down without much of a fight.

How dare you kill 'The Master of Blades!!!'
All of this- including a sub-plot with Norris and his fiancee dealing with her pregnancy- is all a build up to Norris facing down The Terror once again.

Chuck Norris' tears can cure Cancer, but his kicks seem to only piss off this giant!
When in doubt, toss him through a plate glass ceiling and drop him four stories.  How this kills him and the exploding car didn't is beyond me.

In The End, Norris wins the day and gets married to his lady.  Hurray.
Norris can act?  In all honesty, this movie does some interesting things with its cast, even while keeping the formula all there.  The Norris formula for Canon was strong action, big villain and violent conclusion.  This film gives you all of that, including the tacked-on action scene.  They all have them- see for yourself.  The film does have more going on here though.  Norris' Cop doesn't feel like he's earned his 'Hero' status.  Likewise, he's facing his long-dormant fear of The Terror once he thinks that he's on the loose again.  He also has to deal with his emotional issues in regards to his future wife and her pregnancy.  Some people don't like the wife scenes, but I thought they were a nice touch.  Other than a pretentious cross-cutting between the baby's birth and James' death, they are genuinely-effective.  You can't complain about lack of depth in a Norris film- especially for Canon- and then complain when they add just that!  I will say it's odd that The Terror is your classic Horror Film 'Heavy,' but his kills are just neck-breaks.  The only blood you get is in the beginning, which is odd.  Regardless, this is a Norris film with more than meets the eye.  As a bonus, it ends on this oddly-creepy shot of Norris and the Priest...

Next up, I finally review my 3rd Project Terrible film.  I'll make sure that Dracula's Widow doesn't remarry!  Stay tuned...

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