Invasion U.S.A.

First Miami, then the world!
★★
☆☆☆☆
Released: 
1985
Director: 
Joseph Zito
Starring: 
Chuck Norris, Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet, Alexander Zale
The Setup: 
Buncha terrorists confuse taking over Miami with taking over America. America wasn’t ready. …But HE was.
Discussion: 

Having only seen Good Guys Wear Black, I knew that I could look forward to spreading the rest of the Chuck Norris films out and self-medicate myself with them whenever I need that certain something that only Chuck can provide. This one looked amusing, and also featured Chuck with a beard and his shirt open on the cover so hello, this one was next in line.

Ah, how much has changed. You will recall that Good Guys Wear Black featured a sexy, sensitive, openly horny Chuck who wore awesome clothes and loved the ladies in front of the fireplace on the brown shag rug. This one is a different Chuck altogether, as we can tell from the opening credits, wherein he is in the Everglades or some shit and driving one of those boats that looks like a brick strapped to a big fan with his shirt open, trying desperately to keep his shoulders back lest his chest sag. Yes, the cult of Chuck is in full swing here, and that’s kind of fun, but the problem with this is that the sexual content gets taken out of actual sex [young, impressionable boys might be watching!] and channeled into the brutal violence [which young, impressionable boys can watch while remaining completely unaffected!]. This movie is much more in line with the cult of Chuck as personified by the Chuck Norris Facts page. By the way, you can tell both that Chuck is a bigger star and that it’s the 80s by the fact that someone made him shave his chest. Because hair? Like, EWWWW! What could be worse than body hair? Oh my God, like what if it TOUCHED you?!

But before we see Chuck majestically piloting his fan across the swamp, we have a boatload of Cuban immigrants delivering expository dialogue, before they are approached by some ship that looks pretty Coast Guard-y. The soldiers line up with machine guns along the rails, but then the fellow in charge says “welcome to America!” The Cubans all celebrate! Then the guy in charge kills a guy with a bullet point blank to the head, and the guys open fire and blow away all the immigrants! Welcome to America! But luckily they don’t bleed too much, and amazingly, although the boat was packed with Cubans, none of them happened to fall on the rather large trap door that conceals the cargo of cocaine! And luckily the cocaine was sealed in bulletproof plastic bags that are equipped to withstand a barrage of random machine gun fire! How come we haven’t seen a commercial in which a mother shoots a handgun at her son’s sandwich in her Glad Bulletstop® sandwich bag? She could turn to the camera and say “As a mother, I need to safeguard my child’s lunch against terrorist attack. But I don’t want to compromise on freshness….”

By this time we have noticed that there are an abundance of guys in mirrored trooper glasses around, always a welcome sight. We have also seen that this screenplay is co-written by Chuck himself. So anyway, the boatload of immigrants washes up and the cops are all looking at it, and at this point I was like: “NO discussion of the immigration problem in America could be considered credible without reference to Invasion U.S.A,” but after this the movie completely drops the whole immigration angle and forgets about it. But we have seen that Melissa Prophet, and I’m gonna take a chance and guess that’s not her real name, as a young reporter / photographer who chooses to wear Trinity-style black vinyl jumpsuits to cover her stories. Although I don’t think Trinity would ever accessorize with a white sweater thrown over her shoulders, sleeves wrapped around her neck.

Then we see that Chuck wrestles crocodiles with his own hands! Then we’re introduced to his older, wiser whoever who would surely have been portrayed by Sam Elliott if only he lived longer. This guy’s name is John Eagle. Then the villain goes to some guy’s office where a prostitute is snorting coke through some sort of straw which we are to understand is pretty hard, because a second later the bad guy slams her head down on the table, jamming the straw up her nose and into her skull! Then he puts the gun down the pants of the drug dealer or whoever and blows his cock off! Brutal! But don’t feel like this villain is all one sided. We get some insight into his psychology when he has a dream in which Chuck Norris is kicking his ass! Would you believe I had the exact same dream!? Only in this one Chuck wasn’t KICKING my ass…

Anyway, the bad guys come by in more of those fan boats, standing resolutely still on them, arms crossed, staring straight forward like idiots, and they kill our Sam Elliott stand-in, blow up Chuck’s house, and almost kill Chuck’s cute pet armadillo! Luckily Chuck, who is ready to throw himself through any window upon hearing the slightest noise [I’d hate to see him during a big storm], has escaped unharmed, as did the adorable little armadillo or whatever that thing was. So Chuck gets on his fan boat [also just out of range of the powerful rockets that destroyed Chuck’s home] and comes into town. It would seem that in this movie they don’t use roads, they just ride these little boats around this elaborate system of canals. Anyway, there’s this kick-ass shot where Chuck pilots the boat in from far away, hits the land and walks without missing a stride off the moving boat and significantly far onto the land! He’s so confident and assured! And just out of frame, the boat that he failed to secure to the dock is slowly drifting down the canal.

Anyway, good thing Chuck made it to land, because the bad guy walks up to this couple fucking on a beach, grabs the guys hair, lifts his head, and blows his fucking brains out! Then he kills the woman. Then a bunch of those boats like at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan arrive, and it’s D-Day in Miami! We then cut to the good, simple American people who are living clean, wholesome, Godly lives by preparing for the Christmas holiday, including the cutest little cherub whose parents promised that she could put the star on the tree, then leave her outside [lying, inattentive parents who deserve to DIE!] and she crawls up the ladder at great peril in order to put the star at the top an honor our lord Jesus Christ! And this evil TERRORIST is going to take all that away! But choke back that vomit for just a few more moments, because soon the evil bad guy puts a rocket launcher on his shoulder and blows the innocent little cherub’s house and whole family away! Then he blows away like eight other suburban houses without ever having to change his position! I swear, those people should totally sue their development planner for not having foreseen the probability that a madman would blow up their houses one by one with a rocket launcher. In today’s troubled political environment, we have to prepare for ALL eventualities.

Anyway, then Chuck says to some guy, in his low, teddy-bear voice “I’m gonna hit you with so many rights you’re gonna beg for a left.” Then he holds a grenade that takes an AWFULLY long time to blow up. Then someone tries to leave a suspicious package that has a bomb in it. Readers, when you hear about reporting suspicious packages, perhaps you wonder what exactly you are looking for. This movie supplies the answer: you are looking for a big white bag with a present wrapped in metallic paper. Now, if someone left their bag somewhere, you might yell after them, then give up and walk away. Not the virtuous Christian denizens of Miami, however, who grab the bag and MANIACALLY chase after you, SCREAMING “Hey guy! You left your bag!” and literally WILL NOT STOP. That’s what good, honest people these AMERICANS are! And what is the terrorist’s nefarious plot! To blow up a shopping mall! Does their evil know no bounds of human decency?

Then the bad guys grab this passing woman BY THE HAIR and pull her to the side of this van and take off, holding the woman on the outside of the van! Luckily Chuck and the intrepid reporter are on hand, and they engage in this ludicrous high-speed chase with that other woman being HELD outside the van by the bad guy / driver. Now, WHAT do they want with this woman? If they care so little about the virtuous Christian people of Miami, how come they just don’t drop her? Well, because we need some sort of peril for this car chase, apparently, and no one could think of something that might, you know, make sense. So Chuck and the reporter save her, but PLEASE take note of the quick shot that shows that, as the reporter and the bad guy struggle for control of the woman, THEY RIP THE CROTCH OF HER PANTS OPEN [right]. It’s just one of those things that goes by so quickly you wouldn’t really notice it, and… WHAT’S it doing there? I assume they’re trying to almost subliminally up the erotic excitement factor for the 14-year-old boys and Marines who are the only people that are going to watch this movie.

In here the bad guy shoots ANOTHER guy down the pants, and then, just when you think those evil, evil terrorists couldn’t attack a more potent symbol of true American virtue and purity, they try to blow up a CHURCH! Well, this is where Chuck’s gotta step in. Later these nefarious folks [and they DO go out of their way to be as nefarious as possible] try to blow up a school bus of innocent children [just CHILDREN!] who are engaged in a psychotically long-winded version of “Row Your Boat.” Chuck, once again magically intuiting to the precise millisecond the moment when any given bomb is going to blow up, rescues the little monsters and sticks it to the thugs!

Now, I had forgotten that we were in Miami [and we DO seem to be in some remote suburb], and around this time the thought starts to occur to you: “How does invading this small town have anything to do with taking over the entire United States?” This is not really addressed—and it IS kind of a problem—not to mention the problem of, like: “Hasn’t the U.S, Government even NOTICED that someone has taken over Miami? And where is the local police force?” And… why Miami? I mean, obviously this is the only place the filmmakers could afford, but… is this such a pivotal city in the United States that after capturing it, the rest of the cities will just fall like dominoes? Please do not attempt to think too much about this film.

Anyway, so Chuck is sitting around in his hotel room watching an alien invasion movie which is explicitly tied, though a key juxtaposition, to the invasion happening right in his town. Then the bad guys invade some office building for some reason, and realize it’s a trap! And when they come back out the U.S.-FUCKIN’-A Army has finally rolled into town, and the jig is up. There only seem to be about 114 guys in the invading army anyway, shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of. Then Chuck blows away the bad guy with a rocket launcher, and if you look in the explosion that follows, you can actually see flying body parts!

So ultimately, a bit of a snore. Chuck almost never takes his shirt off, and there’s no sex [unless you count sticking guns down guys’ pants and ripping open a woman’s pants], and besides, his chest is shaved and he’s just not that sexy anyway. And his hair is just kind of too much in a big bouffant right in the front and you end up staring right into it as though it were a third eye when he’s onscreen. So there just wasn’t enough sex or sexual interest for me, and you certainly can’t expect me to get into all this crap about the some idiotic invasion of Coral Gables or wherever that is supposedly going to lead to the fall of the United States. And then all the crap about the virtuous, God-fearing Americans…. It’s a disappointment, because Chuck was awesome in Good Guys Wear Black. I think I’m going to have to advance carefully from his 70’s period, and stay away from all these Rambo-wannabe movies, or maybe just skip ahead to when he’s starring alongside crime-fighting dogs.

Should you watch it: 

Up to you, but it gets really boring going into the second hour.

RELATED FILMS:
GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK has Chuck as a sexy 70s stud and is 15 times more amusing.