Tuesday, May 3, 2016

If I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.

Who threw that?
Who broke it?
Well, who gave you his homework?

Sometimes the only way to actually get my students to stop talking, is to ask them to start. Half the time, Hell, most of the time, they're aren't even going to be any major repercussions, but apparently, even in the slightest of offenses, no one wants to be a snitch.

If you're a clueless punk kid in Mr. Brown's class, I guess this ethical low-road makes sense. But if you're a cop on the mean streets of mid-80's Chicago...

...what the f--k, man?

As part of his uber-rad podcast, Todd over Forgotten Films asked me to join him in taking a look at 1985's Code of Silence. Starring the bizarrely intense Chuck Norris, this peculiar gem mixes internal affairs with external (roundhouse) kicks. While that concoction may include more things to consider rather than explosions to enjoy, I found director Andrew Davis's cop drama rather tasty, even thirty years later.

Opening in the midst of what is likely the largest sting operation ever put on by the Chicago P.D., things head south fast. What should be a straightforward undercover drug-buy from the Columbian cartel, escalates into the grisly execution of cops and thugs alike. Apparently, the Italian mob caught wind of this deal, and as these things go, intervene. As Eddie Cusack (Norris, totes) and his crew rush in, low-life d-bag Detective Cragie inadvertently kills a teenager in the confusion. So while Cusack and the other 900 cops involved chase after the Italians, Cragie and his rookie partner are left in this odd moral dilemma. If only there was a way where Cragie could make it look like self-defense. If only...

Though it takes a long time to happen, eventually these two stories intersect. As Cusack's tearing (and glaring) around Chicago trying to stop the inevitable all-out gang-war, Cragie's headed to trial. For the most part, I really didn't give a damn about that old salty dick Cragie (I was mad at him...but more on that later) and whether a judge would find him guilty or not of being an asshole, which he almost happily so. But when Cusack steps up, tells the truth and breaks the...code of silence, it actually culminated in the type of ridiculous action scene I'd been hoping for. So in that regard, thanks Cragie...you filthy animal.

Chuck Norris' gun doesn't actually have any bullets in it.
He just uses it to aim his disappointment in your life's choices. That's what kills you.
As simple as this movie may sound (and likely is, to you educated types), I was honestly surprised how all these seemingly random events come together. According to the interweb, Code of Silence's script was originally penned to be Dirty Harry IV, but eventually drifted in to the hands of Davis and eventually, Norris. Word is ol' Harry Callahan had gone too cartoony, and somebody got f--king Chuck Norris on the phone and seriously took care of business. Mission, astonishingly,  accomplished.

Not taking care of anything, are the Yays and Boos. While you can simply read most of these 'breathtakingly-clever' observations [said no one] below, you could also just head over to Todd's site and hear a 13-year-old girl stumble through them on his podcast. Fine, that squeaky-voiced girl is actually a 36-year-old man. Just don't tell anyone, huh?

Chuck Norris: Sanitation Engineer.
I'm sorry, Chuck Norris: Sanitation Engineer...with neck wear.
  • Man, I don't know about you, but when I see that old ORION logo...it's just...it feels like home.
  • No bullshit, but this blu-ray looks amazing. If everyone wasn't dressed like an asshole, you wouldn't even know this was an eighties' flick.
  • There's a rad tracking shot of the Chicago police department's call center that perfectly sets the tone.
  • Okay, I've gone on too long...but Cragie? He's played by a feller named Ralph Foody. And ol' Ralph's voice? It took two syllables to knock me on my ass. Seems Mr. Foody also played a slimeball in a little movie called Home Alone. Actually, he played a slimeball in a movie in Home Alone. Oh, you don't know who I'm talking about? Well, I'm gonna give you to the count of ten to figure it out, and then I'm gonna pump your guts full of lead.
  • Dude...Dennis Farina is in this. And while that's more than enough...he actually plays a non-threatening goofball here, which kind of has to be seen to be believed.
  • I love it when they purposely don't subtitle when sketchy characters are speaking another language. All of a sudden....we're all kind of f--ked, you know?
  • Two words: obvious dummies.
  • You want a tune-up, f--kface? Hahahaha....the interrogation scene is so rad.
  • For real, there's a point in this movie where not only is Chuck Norris practicing roundhouse kicks, but no lie, the entire police force of Chicago is simultaneously working out. It's soooo awesome.
  • Hey, these look like some nice eggplants...blam-blam=blammity-BLAM!
  • Unbelievably, after a brief skirmish on the elevated train...Chuck and the sketchy dude he's chasing? Well, they decide to take it outside. Er...as in, on top of the moving train. Oh, and if you don't piss your pants at how this scene ends....well, you have zero sense of humor. Or, that happened to someone in your family. And in that case, let me offer you two things: my condolences and a high-five.
  • Chuck takes on an entire pool hall full of thugs, and in spectacular fashion, kicks heaps of ass. But even cooler, Chuck is felled...by a poolball to the temple.
  • A car speeds down the road, flies up an incline...and, wait for it...sparks when it hits the ground. I'm sorry...I think I've got something in my eye....if you'll excuse me.
  • And finally, I never thought that this silly little blog would ever afford me the opportunities to not only watch so many cool movies, but to be a (very) small part of a fantastic community as well. Todd having me on his podcast is all kinds of fantastic, but I can say with certainty that most of you reading this have also impacted me, too. This is the ultimate Yay, for sure. Well...outside of an unnecessary shower scene...which this movie doesn't feature, despite being released in 1985.
  • During the sting, all 600 active officers get in over their heads...in the deepest baseball analogy ever.
  • Hey, we've got some painters strolling into our heavily guarded building, what should we do? Eh, no big deal. Till someone realizes, Hey! That building is scheduled for demolition NEXT WEEK!
  • And the ensuing shootout? Very bloodless.
  • Man, Bad Italian Guy? This dude is quite a dick. He storms out of town...at the exact moment his wife is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake (actually, this scene is kinda brilliant in how awful it is).
  • I forgot what a Colombian Necktie was. I thought it was something sexual. It's not.
  • The Prowler is apparently the future of policing! Imagine combining Wall-e with say...that electric cart thing that old/fat/old,fat people use in the grocery store. But worse. And with a giant gun on it.
  • I think one of the Colombian dudes refers to a bunch of dead Italians as fried zucchini. Dude. As an Italian who enjoys fried...well, anything, that shit's not cool, right? Let's keep racist generalizations out of it, okay, Juan Valdez?
  • Goons chase young Diana through the city in broad daylight. Chicago's response? Indifference.
  • I think Subtitle Guy was late for Sunday School, as he left out a lot of words. As in all of the f-bombs.
  • After Chuck gets his bell rung at the pool hall? Farina finds him. In an alley. Drinking out of a spicket. Huh?
  • And finally, Chuck kisses Diana on the forehead at the end of the film, in one of the most awkward tender moments ever put to film. Yeah, it's a fact that he probably cured her of brain cancer, but that doesn't make it any less...strange.
In my research for the podcast, I came across some interesting tidbits regarding Code of Silence. Cool production facts, an amazing review by a legendary critic, and probably one of the most startling box-office details I've ever come across. Like, real facts, not internet-created Chuck Norris' ones. But guess what?

I ain't talkin'.

Uh, anymore.


  1. I was chuckling through most of this and then I got to the Juan Valdez bit and doubled over in laughter. Outstanding.

    Don't think I actually saw this one, but yeah can't go wrong with Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris says so.

    1. Man, I would be willing to send you my blu-ray copy, no doubt. It's pretty much completely ridiculous...how straightforward this movie is. Apparently, according to Todd, I have to check out INVASION, USA. That sounds fantastic! (and totally absurd)

      Juan Valdez! Nothing like an outdated 80s reference, right?

    2. Invasion, USA is fantastically absurd, no doubt. I'll try to find Code of Silence. I think (hope) I can manage that, lol.

    3. Sold on Invasion, USA.

      Just let me know...I'd be shocked if the Code of Silence disc in my 3-disc Chuck collection ever gets inserted into the PS4 ever again.

  2. omg this review is great. Can't say I've ever watched a movie starring Chuck Norris on purpose. It's always something I just happen upon and lol at.

    1. That sounds about par for the course when it comes to a lot of people's Chuck Norris movie watching habits, myself included, but after this one...I think I've turned a corner. Yeah, he's ridiculous, but just so f--king awesome, too.

      An added bonus is I get to think of that Walker Texas Ranger lever Conan used to always pull.

  3. Wow, this is an oldie but "goodie." Chuck Norris isn't much of an actor is he? He has like one expression--disdain. I have to remind myself that this man once fought Bruce Lee. Have you ever seen 'Iron Eagle?' I think that should be your next review. That movie is chock full of 80s goodness. Admittedly I watched a few episodes of Walker Texas Ranger in the 90s. I don't know why or what I was thinking. I actually have a soft spot for Charles Bronson in 'Deathwish.'

    1. Hahaha...'disdain' is the absolutely PERFECT description!

      I think I saw Iron Eagle when it first came out on VHS...so I have very little recollection of it. Louis Gossett Jr. is in it, right? That's all I got (if that's even true in the first place).

      I never watched Walker, Texas Ranger...but I wish I did. At the time it would have been embarrassing...but now? Likely brilliant.

      I gotta start tackling Charles Bronson soon. He's all about the disdain, too, if I remember correctly.