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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.33%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 6.67%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap80%

1 review, 9 user ratings

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Invasion U.S.A.
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by Jack Sommersby

"Chuckie Battles the Russians and a Horrendous Screenplay"
1 stars

I don't require genius in an action film, just some semblances of a non-idiot IQ somewhere in the vicinity.

Overcoming a rotten screenplay is one thing, but overcoming both that and a rotten director is enough to do any Hollywood production in. As is the unfortunate case here, Joseph Zito is the director, as he was one year prior with the mediocre Chuck Norris star vehicle Missing in Action, and he hasn't lost his mediocre talent by any means. In fact, Invasion U.S.A. is so palpably bad it's a career-low not only for Zito but Norris, too, which is very unfortunate in that this marks Norris's follow-up to the excellent, critically-lauded Code of Silence, which marked a career-best for the star. Here, Norris is Matt Hunter, an ex-employee for some deep-secret government branch known as the "Agency," who's propelled out of retirement to track down and catch his longtime Russian nemesis, Rostov (Richard Lynch), who, along with an undetermined number of terrorists, lands on the Florida coast and proceeds to blow up houses and gun down innocent bystanders on the streets in an attempt to cripple the nation and bring it to its knees. Supposedly the villains are spreading out over the United States, yet virtually all of the action involving Rostov takes place in Florida; even after he himself rocket-launches a four-member-family home, he's back at a posh Miami hotel the next morning having drinks on the patio, as if all he did the night before was trim his toenails. When the violence breaks out, you expect the film to crank up its adrenaline level a bit, but time after time after time we're transported back to Rostov and his mutterings to his second-in-command that the job won't be finished until Hunter is terminated, and the film goes punk-dead every damn time. (Don't blame Lynch, though: He looks and talks the part perfectly fine, but he's left with movie on his face too much of the time because of the nonsensical writing that's as detrimental to him as Kryptonite would be to Superman.)

It's hard to get your bearings throughout Invasion U.S.A. because it's so stagnant and dull that you find yourself wondering if you're being a killjoy for spotting the kind of plot holes you usually don't pay much mind to in this kind of film. My favorite is Rostov's decision to arrive and beach their boats on the Florida coast. That's right, the Florida(!) coast, one of the most heavily-patrolled areas by the Coast Guard. Norris's scenes aren't any better, either: There's a long, utterly pointless scene where Hunter slowly drives his pickup through a high-crime neighborhood at night, where pimps and prostitutes and gang members and the like shout and curse him while Norris remains Mr. Stoneface. Is the film trying to say these parts of America and the people living or operating in them aren't worth saving? Or is it the reverse -- that even with their flaws, every American is worth saving from a Russian megalomaniac? Either way, Rostov isn't likely shooting up heroin in this neighborhood, so why is Hunter driving five miles per hour through it? And what of Hunter's failure to kill Rostov when he had him dead-bang years ago? Early on, Hunter gripes to a fellow agent that they didn't let him take down Rostov when he had the chance, yet in a flashback we see Hunter and only Hunter with a gun to Rostov, with nobody else around, right before Rostov tries to kill the president of a foreign country, and Hunter still doesn't shoot. (Note to co-screenwriter Norris: Try writing an exercise book next time, huh?) Then there's the dragon-lady of an abrasive, shouting photojournalist played by the gruesome Melissa Prophet, who's supposed to be the comic relief but is as easy to take on the ears as a tone-deaf opera singer with peanut butter stuck in her throat. Perhaps a super-slick director could have glided over some of these flaws, but when it's someone like Zito -- who can't get through an action sequence without piss-poor slow-mo shots like they were going out of style, or regressing back to his slasher-flick The Prowler days by prolonging a scene where a making-out couple on a beach gets gunned down right before all of the villains arrive -- it's best just to pray that a more talented filmmaker like, say, Ed Wood be given those directorial reins.

Avoid this like the bubonic plague.

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originally posted: 04/24/06 02:53:27
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User Comments

5/19/09 Marty B A Classic, Jack Summersby can't understand a film like this it seems. Up for your doom! 5 stars
3/18/09 Dr.Lao I'd walk out on this movie even on an airplane 1 stars
8/15/07 Mr Rostof Personally I laughed all the way thru the film. Its so bad, its good. 5 stars
9/19/06 JM Synth Insipid, yes; but great campy fun with it 3 stars
4/24/06 Monster W. Kung This movie is so bad, it single-handedly denies all the Chuck Norris facts. 1 stars
12/13/04 Sugarfoot Laughable crap 1 stars
10/06/04 John horrible!!!! 1 stars
9/14/04 Jack Sommersby Sad that Norris followed up the outstanding "Code of Silence" with this inept garbage. 1 stars
9/14/04 tatum Insipid garbage, truly repulsive and moronic 1 stars
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