July 7, 2015

Invasion USA

There are some pretty excellent reasons to watch Invasion USA, though not many of them have to do with Chuck Norris. He stalks the halls of an empty office building, he skulks around a plucky reporter, he makes wry comments at the bad guys. Generally speaking there are fantastic action sequences peppered with epic explosions, but all those scenes are intercut with stone-wall molasses Chuck walkin' around.

The plot unfolds something like this: An invasion is being planned on the shores of Florida by communist terrorists on a quest to do something... and they will stop at nothing to blow up a few houses in the suburbs, drive through a mall, and blow up a house on the bayou to prove... I can't even remember. What does the plot matter when they are laying waste to much of what makes the childhood of suburbanite kids dull and uninspired?

Explosions!: There's not much to say about this movie because most of the amazing parts are when stuff is blowing up. But they actually got to blow up real structures making this film's action especially wonderful. The filmmakers had access to a housing development that was being demolished, a mall that was re-modeling, a shack in the bayou and many other structures they inevitably level. It adds something to the action that's hard (or expensive) to get in a movie using models or CGI, and it's worth all the Wooden Chuck in the world to see them!

Reasons to watch: The aforementioned blowing up of lots of stuff. A car chase scene through a mall! The opportunity to make fun of Boring Chuck over and over. A cute scene with an armadillo. Billy Drago! Chuck Norris might be a “one man army” but there's an actual army in the final scene that also has an enjoyable hand in the blowing up of stuff. Did I mention that EVERYTHING is unequivocally destroyed?!?

Cringe moments: When a boat full of unarmed people get's mowed down, it starts to feel like excessive “these guys are really really bad guys” fodder. Also, Chuck gives Jack Bower and Dirty Harry a run for their money on the “one man army” and “laws smaws” fronts.

Siblings of the stars: Aaron Norris, brother of Chuck, is not only co-credited with writing the screen play for Invasion USA, he is also the stunt coordinator.

What we learned: If any other action star from this time period stared in Invasion USA, this would be a must watch classic. However, if someone other than Chuck had starred, someone different would have likely been the stunt coordinator and the action wouldn't have been as good. This might be our official selection for Catch-22 Action Flick of the 20th century.

Weird stuff I know after researching Invasion USA: This movie has a novelization. I found a lovely review of said novel at Glorious Trash.

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