Thursday, March 06, 2008

Absurd, I can handle. But boring ... : "Silent Rage"

First, here's the synopsis that popped up when I scrolled to this movie listing:

"A Texas sheriff tries kung fu on an ax killer who, revived by doctors, cannot be killed."


(Longer pause)

OK, how could I not watch that?

I thought I recalled this early Chuck Norris vehicle having some merit as a silly action flick. Silly, it was. Merit, it hadn't.

Now a quarter-century old, "Silent Rage" doesn't suffer because it's dated. Nor does its preposterous plot do it in. No, the problem here -- rather stunningly -- is the lack of action or scares in what is supposed an action movie/thriller. Really ... when all was said and done, I was shocked by how little was said and done.

Our story opens with an unstable young man going off his meds and killing someone. The sheriff -- our pal Chuck ... Mr. Norris, if you're nasty -- shows up to stop the guy, who gets himself shot instead. But wait! His doctor and others try an experimental drug on him to see how fast it heals people. Alas, it works too well, with the bad guy rising up and going on ... not exactly a rampage, but rather a jaunt around town, killing people in a ... wait for it ... SILENT RAGE!

Chuck eventually gets wind of this -- when he's not wooing an ex-girlfriend in a strangely protracted love scene. (Still, there's nudity, and not just the sheriff's pecs.) Oh, and when he's not tangling with bikers in a couple of scenes. One of those does have a decent fight, even if the bikers clearly went to the Bad Guy School of Brawling. You know, where they come at the hero one by one instead of gang-tackling his a$$. No, that would make too much sense.

But yes, as one of the movie's taglines states, "Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him." Playing his nutty sidekick is Flounder from "Animal House," while the great Ron Silver is the killer's doctor. Neither they nor Chuck nor the boobies, however, can keep this not-that-long movie from dragging on and on. Really, between the blah killings and plodding pace, there's no tension. At all.

"Silent Rage" came after Norris's early martial arts fun, i.e. "Good Guys Wear Black" and "The Octagon," and before the great "Lone Wolf McQuade." That movie leaves "Rage" in the dust, and I have to believe the earlier ones can't be any worse. Wait a minute ... just checked IMDB, where the ratings for "Black" and "Octagon," as well as "An Eye for an Eye" and "A Force of One," are worse than "Rage." Whoa.

I could go on, but let's just say this movie blows. (You know, if you couldn't tell by now.) And because I don't want to belabor the point, we close with another visit to the famous Chuck Norris Facts. I just spent a few minutes there to erase the bad taste of this movie. My favorite: Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits.


At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what that movie could've used? Some triangle shaped mylar costumes and a couple of badass musical numbers.

I'm just sayin'....

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jefferson said...

Well, Norris DID pause long enough to sing about how good it was to be a master ...


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