11 of Richard Lynch’s “Greatest” Hits (to the Balls) – 3. INVASION U.S.A. (1985) Review

Folks, the 4th of July is around the corner. It’s time to celebrate the awesomeness of America by taking a look at some ass-whooping American action.

You know, I read a pretty funny article a month or two back that I initially thought was a joke. But then I realized I wasn’t reading Fox News. In fact, Fox seemed to be the only one not reporting it. I wonder why. Basically, the article stated that “[v]ast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in military equipment” and that “70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China”. The Senate report blamed China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market, but I think we all know what the real reason is…

This is obviously a secret military scheme designed to create shoddy American military equipment. It’s so ingenious. I mean, China makes, like, all our shit, right? It was only a matter of time before some creative minds over there got some bright ideas. Can’t land that plane, pilot? You’re fucked. Your M72 LAW firing the other way? Victory, China. It’s so obviously obvious. And there’s only one man that can stop them… Barack Obama!

No, not really… The real man that can really stop them…

A 72 year old Chuck Norris.

Above: a 45 year old Chuck Norris in Invasion U.S.A. (1985).
Nobody’s going to fuck with Chuck.
Except Bruce Lee.

You see, folks, there was once a time when the United States of America wasn’t the joke it is today. It was an entirely different joke. I mean, I don’t really remember, but I hear Republicans talk about that glorious time in the 1980s when Second Jesus, Ronald Reagan, reigned supreme.

And anybody who fucked with the United States would get fucked in return. I’ve seen the movies. The Delta Force. Die Hard. And Invasion U.S.A., where a bunch of no good commies attempt to, uh, invade the USA.

There was once a time when Chuck Norris wasn’t the joke he is today. He was an entirely different joke. And this film might be one of his biggest punch-lines.

On a side note: Chuck Norris is set to appear in the sequel to the action turd that was The Expendables. He only signed on if they cut down on the bad language. So the guy’s got no problem with hardcore violence, but swearing, that’s a big no no. Fuck Chuck.

Chuck Norris in the upcoming Expendables 2.
Guy looks he has not aged a day in forty years.

Anyway, the 1980s, hell yeah! U-S-A! U-S-A! Asshole commies want to try to “invade” America? This is the 1980s, motherfucker, and it ain’t happening, especially if we’ve got a gator-wrassling Chuck Norris.

Above: Chuck Norris and Dehl Berti (as John Eagle) and alligator in Invasion U.S.A. (1985).

Basically the film starts out frame-by-frame, thusly: (1) the Cannon logo; (2) “The Cannon Group Presents”; (3) “CHUCK NORRIS”; (4) “in a Golan-Globus Production”; (5) “of a Joseph Zito Film”; (6) assorted Cuban refugees being slaughtered by commies in disguise; and I’m smiling the whole way through. Who’s leading these dastardly commie bastards? None other than Richard Lynch.

Above: Richard Lynch as Mikhail Rostov in Invasion U.S.A. (1985).
Make sure you remember that smile. That’s the last smile you’ll see before he kills you.

Anyway, we’re five minutes in and the awesomeness factor just keeps going up.

You know what’s fucking weird about this movie? It has subtitles. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. It’s like this pro-American movie almost wants its audience to read and appreciate non-English… before it blows them foreign bastards away.

Another thing I noticed – and you notice these kinds of things when you watch too many similar films, or maybe it’s just me – it seems like every 1980s action film preference for either a really simple font title, or that sleek metallic look.

Above: Invasion U.S.A. (1985) opening title/credits.

Above: The Terminator (1984) opening title/credits.

Above: Die Hard (1988) opening title/credits.

Above: RoboCop (1987) opening title/credits.

Above: Death WIsh 3 (1985) opening title/credits.

Above: Predator (1987) opening title/credits.

Above: Avenging Force (1986) opening title/credits.
The film was actually a sequel to Invasion U.S.A.

Nothing too fancy. Just sleek badass ‘80s look or simplistic perfection. Or maybe they’re just opening titles and I should shut the fuck up.

It gets better.

Richard Lynch and Billy Drago have a staredown, a real staring contest, if you will. Seriously, Richard doesn’t seem to blink at all in this scene. Nor does Drago. Dudes just stare down each other, even while talking on the fucking phone. Stare down until the inevitable conclusion. Billy, you’re an evil badass, but Richard’s got you beat here.

And sadly, that bit of awesomeness is pretty much the apex of the film. I mean, there’s no way in hell you’re going to top that scene. It’s beautifully put together and I fucking mean every word of that. Thirteen minutes in and you might as well stop watching.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s hilarious shit like blowing up White suburban homes with rocket launchers during sappy and crappy Christmas scenes and attacking a Latino community center. But how are you going to top one of the greatest scenes in movie history?

Seriously that’s some pretty manipulative and, by extension, unintentionally hilarious shit. Oh noes! Russians attacking on our beloved Christmas holiday! They must be… EVIL.

So the story is really simple: Richard Lynch plays Mikhail Rostov, the Russian leader of a gang of armed guerrillas who invade the USA. Rostov and his goons land in Florida and attack Miami. Since this was the 1980s, I’m not sure if anybody in Miami would have noticed anything truly wrong. I’m sure a couple of Latinos were getting killed every night.

Of course, this pisses off Chuck Norris, who had a chance to kill Rostov once before, but was stopped by limp-dicked bureaucrats. Chuck, who initially engaged in action movie cliché #4215, telling everybody you’re retired and cannot be coaxed back, is coaxed back when Rostov tries to take him out. Now it’s up to Chuck to save the world. Yes, the world, because everyone knows only America counts for anything.

“And you’re damn lucky this is the 1980s and this cliché hasn’t completely worn itself out yet.”
“Wait a few years, Chuck.”

Rostov’s “guerrillas” are mostly just a shadowy group of right-wing fears, including Richard Lynch, commies, drug dealers, Cubans, Latinos, Russians, one seemingly Chinese guy who is actually Japanese. Apparently all Asians look alike to the Americans. Also, it’s not as much an “invasion” as it is an “invasion”. If you know what I mean. Think of it when people scream things like “The Mexicans are invading across our border!” or “Islamist terrorists have invaded the United States!” The commies, if they even are commies, just attack random locations and try to incite the population using terror. So I guess they’re terrorists…

Above: Koyo (James Pax), the one Asian guy in Invasion U.S.A. (1985).

There’s also a reporter chick played by Melissa Prophet. I just thought I’d mention her so this review doesn’t seem completely devoid of females. She doesn’t really do anything though. Make that: she doesn’t actually do anything though.

Ha. First Amendment. It’s almost like this ‘80s female wants rights and freedoms or something.

Chuck Norris’ strategy is basically asking one guy where Rostov is and then attempting to save everybody from “guerrillas” as the film basically devolves into scene after scene of guerrillas attacking shit and Chuck Norris kicking ass for about an hour of its running time. There isn’t really anything underlying the structure or holding the scenes together except for that awesome score from Jay Chattaway, Chuck Norris and Richard Lynch, and I don’t even know how Chuck Norris manages to conveniently be wherever some guerrillas happen to be.

Like the scene where he’s in a truck driving in one direction and there just happens to be a bus full of school children coming in the other direction that the guerrillas want to blow up. It’s a pretty stupid scene altogether actually. The children, sent away by their parents to countryside because city life is apparently becoming too dangerous, eternally sing Row Your Fucking Boat over and over and over while sitting on the damn bus. A car with two guerrillas drives by and one places a bomb on the side of the bus and initially, none of these stupid kids notice. And then in the next scene he visits the aftermath of another bombing of kids and he’s pissed because he couldn’t be there to help save the day. Dude… Who cares?

Chuck Norris just seems to know everything that’s going on. He somehow deduces that four National Guardsmen are actually commies in disguise because one of them’s Asian. Stupid Asians are all evil commies because this is the god damn 1980s. The Asian’s all like, “Got any ID, whitey?” and Chuck’s all like “Fuck yeah, I got your ID right here” and blows the sumbitch away. Or in the final battle scene, Chuck comes across a door and automatically deduces that there are two guerrillas waiting on the other side because, uh, he’s a motherfucking American.

Lynch, as usual, tries to bring everything he has to his role. Sometimes I have to wonder if Lynch realized what he was doing was crap and was trying his hardest anyway, or if he really had no idea. He attempts to make the best of a bad situation, and a bad situation that’s about to get worse. Seriously… This is one stupid fucking movie. You got scenes with Christmas sentimentality being blown up by evil commies, threats to school children, and apparently people still out doing Christmas shopping despite the fact that a wave of unprecedented commie violence is sweeping the nation.

Ah, my mistake. This establishment has balding mall security. This lethal human weapon will protect these innocent and, quite frankly, idiotic shoppers.

This movie is pure 1980s. There’s one scene where Rostov is watching a news report announcing the convening of the Southeast Military Assistance Command, where the Governors of each State and high-ranking military have gathered to discuss “the future of democracy” in the country and head off an impending suspension of constitutional rights. You know, PATRIOT Act stuff.

Meanwhile, in another motel room somewhere, Chuck Norris is watching Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and laughing while not giving a fuck at all that everyone’s rights are about to be curbed. I get that the scene from the movie-in-the-movie is supposed to parallel the actual movie and that in the scope of the film it doesn’t really matter, but it just seems intentionally-done. Because this is the 1980s. Good man, Chuck, good man. Fuck the people. What kind of a democracy caters to the people, anyhow?

Anyway, Chuck gets arrested and doesn’t even put up a fight. Sounds oddly suspicious. Richard Lynch, who apparently likes to watch the news between killing people, unlike Americans who like to kill more people between killing people, watches Chuck’s arrest reported on the news, along with some other terribly-wonderful stories.

Oh shit, is it time for that September 29, 2008, 777.68 drop already?

Fuck you.
… Gotta love the ‘80s, folks…
That 30 point drop was a record loss.

“I’m black and I’m scared.”

Chuck is brought down to the Southeast Military Assistance Command without a hitch and taunts Lynch on television, almost like he’s coaxing the Russian into… a trap.

Thank you, Admiral Ackbar.

Now, some people out there wonder why a fully-trained, intelligent and capable guerrilla leader can fall prey so easily to such an obvious trap. Because Rostov is ultimately human. I’m not sure Richard Lynch is, but Rostov sure as hell is human. Human beings are ruled by their emotions. The entire film Rostov wants to kill Chuck, out of fear, out of anger and mostly out of revenge, but is stopped by his right-hand man, Nikko, the guy who was keeping Rostov in check.

Guess what? Nikko gets killed by Chuck Norris, in a scene that echoed Nguyen Van Lem’s execution by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, except Chuck is so badass he makes Nikko shoot himself in the head. All of a sudden Rostov has no check on his behavior. Who knows how far he’d gotten if he hadn’t fallen for Chuck’s trap? Even Chuck said that for every guerrilla action he stopped, one hundred more succeeded.

Except, unlike Nguyen Ngoc Loan, Chuck can make a person execute themselves with their own gun, like he does here with Alexander Zale (as Nikko) in Invasion U.S.A. (1985). He is so fucking Chuck-tastic that he can apparently shoot a guy at point-blank range and not have any blood spatter or chunks of brain matter flying across the screen.

So Richard Lynch, unsurprisingly and inevitably, falls for Chuck’s trap, in a story written by Chuck and Aaron Norris. How convenient. Rich recalls all of the guerrillas to go after the only man that can stop them… CHUCK— Aw, hell, you know who I’m talking about. Unfortunately, Richard finds out it’s a trap and manages to tap Admiral Ackbar in his performance.

Thank you, Admiral Richard “Ackbar” Lynch.
Seriously, the guy looks fucking pissed. Man, the world just won’t be the same without Richard Lynch.

So all of the guerrillas are now trapped in this building and the Guard is called into besiege those bastard commies. Hell breaks loose, gunfire erupts, and Chuck blows Richard Lynch away with an M72 LAW, just like Bronson did in Death Wish 3. Gotta love Cannon’s consistency aka repetitiveness.

Man, this is one of those movies where you really want Richard Lynch to win. You know he’s going to lose as soon as the movie fucking starts, you know it’s inevitable and that it can’t be changed. But you root for him, anyway, in the face of futility.

Also, is that the most fucked up slow-mo you’ve ever seen, or what? Part of the time it seems like the actors were slowing themselves down, like some sort of crappy action parody movie. Good fucking god, is this a stupid movie.

Invasion U.S.A. actually raises some pretty relevant philosophical questions though, as well as raising many issues that are still pertinent in today’s political discussion.

What’s the real meaning behind the term terrorism? What is the extent of police powers? What should we do when we’re not killing people? Chuck answers: dead person, unlimited, watch B-movies, respectively. Chuck, your favoritism of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers over discussion over constitutional rights and police powers has made a fan out of me.

Chuck Norris watches Earth vs. the Flying Saucers in Invasion U.S.A.
That’s America, folks.

What would the USA do if it were invaded by foreign elements? How can we prevent our country from being under Chinese rule? Get out of China’s debt? Fuck that. Just kill them. How can we prevent multiculturalism and cultural assimilation in our so-called melting pot of a country? Reduce immigration? Wrong. Just kill them. It’s so simple. If white people do not want to be bothered anymore by non-whites, the solution is clear.

Everything about this film is so repetitive. Even the score, which is totally awesome, is that repetitive ‘80s action shit that is just so catchy. As soon as it starts playing over the Cannon logo, you get pumped up.

It’s a 1980s Golan-Globus film with Chuck Norris called Invasion U.S.A. about right-wing fears invading the USA, folks. I don’t know how much more obvious you can get with this film. It’s stupid, it’s paced horribly, it’s lifeless, it’s a hodgepodge of scene-after-scene with barely a semblance of plot, and it’s got Chuck Norris. But I just cannot bring myself to hate it.

For another equally stupid and shitty movie with all of the 1980s look and feel, right down to the similar premise, try Red Dawn (1984).

About this entry