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Forced Vengeance (Warner Brothers) DVD Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Forced Vengeance (Warner Brothers) DVD Review

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    Released by: Warner Brothers
    Released on: May 31st, 2005.
    Director: James Fargo
    Cast: Chuck Norris, Mary Louise Weller, Michael Cavanaugh, Camilla Griggs
    Year: 1982
    Purchase From Amazon

    Forced Vengeance - Movie Review:

    Chuck Norris plays a tough sonuvabitch named Josh Randall, a former Viet Nam veteran who works as a security guy for a Jewish casino operator named Sam Paschal (David Opatoshu ) running his trade out of Hong Kong in the early 1980s. Sam is more than just an employer to Josh though – they're also very good friends and he's actually his adopted father, not just his boss. They're pretty close, and as such, they get along together really well.

    One night, when Randall is out on the town, Pashcal gets offed by a man who runs a competing gambling business when he refuses to sell his casino to him. With his boss and good buddy Sam as dead as a doornail, Randall decides to wage a one man war on the criminal organization responsible for the foul deed. To make matters worse, those vile criminals rape Josh's girlfriend and eventually they kill her. With that in mind, it's pretty easy to understand why Josh gets as pissed off as he does. He's a man on a mission, a man who has been pushed on step too far.

    He's been wronged, and he wants payback.

    Directed by James Fargo, the same man who brought us Dirty Harry in The Enforcer and the 'Clint Eastwood loves a monkey' epic, Every Which Way But Loose, this is a film tailor made for Norris and his considerable skills in front of the camera. Can he act? No. Not at all. He's got about as much range as a rock and there are times in this film that you'd swear he was reading off of cue cards. His narration, which resembles the infamous narration from The Octagon where Norris fights a lot of ninjas who hang out in trees with the help of Lee Van Cleef, doesn't help matters any – it's about as corny and stale sounding as it gets. But what Norris does have, he has in spades, and that's presence. You can't learn his unique brand of screen appeal in college or drama school, you're born with it. Norris is a natural in front of the camera despite his horrid acting skills because he has that certain something that makes him incredibly watchable in spite of himself, even if sometimes it's for all the wrong reasons.

    Forced Vengeance is one of those movies that goes really well with beer – lots and lots of good, tasty, strong beer. You're not going to watch it for the acting, you're certainly not going to watch it for the storyline. You're going to watch it for the Norris factor and the amazing amounts of unintentional hilarity that accompany it. When Chuck speaks, you'll listen not because he has a commanding voice or any emotion whatsoever in his delivery, but because his lines tend to be a goldmine of comedy. Couple that with the fact that the man is really good at kicking people in the head while wearing a cowboy suit and hat in the midst of a Hong Kong Casino run by an elderly Jewish man who adopted him at a young age, and you've got yourself one Hell of a movie (or one Hell of a train wreck depending on how you look at it, but either way, you can't stop staring at it).p>

    From the opening scene where Chuck Norris is kicking people against the backdrop of a giant neon sign made up of Chinese characters, to the final scene where he's kicking people in various other locations, this film hits all the right b-movie notes at all the right times. It's a bad film, for sure, but it's completely enjoyable because of it and if you're a Norris fan, you know you want this.

    Forced Vengeance - DVD Review:

    Forced Vengeance is the recipient of a fine 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that presents the film in its original theatrical aspect ratio. While some scenes exhibit some moderate to heavy grain, for the most part the movie looks very nice on DVD. The colors are quite strong, the black levels remain deep and solid with one or two exceptions where the grain becomes more evident, and the flesh tones remain natural and realistic looking.

    The DVD comes with Dolby Digital Mono tracks available in both the original English language and in a French dub. There is an English closed captioning feature and optional subtitles available in English, French and Spanish. As far as the quality of the mix goes, the English language one is the ideal way to check out the movie as seeing Chuck Norris dubbed into French is just plain weird. The dialogue in the film is clean and clear and there aren't any serious technical issues with this track at all. Every once in a while things sound a little bit on the flat side, but for a low budget film that recently celebrated its twentieth birthday Forced Vengeance certainly doesn't sound any worse than any other similar films from the early eighties. The background music and sound effects come through nice and clear and there aren't any issues with hiss or distortion evident in the track.

    Unfortunately, the only extra feature that Warner Brothers have seen fit to grace this DVD release with is the film's theatrical trailer.

    Forced Vengeance - The Final Word:

    While the lack of extra features is a little disheartening, Forced Vengeance looks and sounds pretty good on DVD. The movie itself is vintage Norris. Those who appreciate his unique style of non-acting should get some enjoyment out the film, it's got plenty of action, and lots of people getting kicked in the head. What more can you ask for?

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