Chuck Norris has been famous for a very long time. "Walker Texas Ranger" did amazing things for both his career and Dodge pick-up trucks, but even more for the t-shirt and internet meme business. Surely you've seen them? "The Boogie Man looks under his bed for Chuck Norris." and "Chuck Norris has counted to Infinity. Twice."
My youngest boys didn't realize that he actually existed. "Yes, Virginia, there really is a Chuck Norris." When I told them, and showed them the Netflix queue with "A Force of One" on it, they immediately wanted to see "the old Kung Fu movie, not the new spy movie about Russians and where the guy had a girl friend." Clearly outnumbered, Mom agreed to let us watch it.
I have a confession to make. Despite wanting to see such classics as "Delta Force" and "Delta Force 2" and "Invasion, U.S.A.", I have never watched a Chuck Norris film. Strike that, I just remembered "Sidekicks." But that wasn't a real Chuck Norris movie, that was a Mr. Miyagiorris movie.
I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, having caught bits and pieces of WTR over the years, but talk about time travel. The opening scene of AFOO (1979) was a sensory assault of disco, flashy patterned clothes + torn gray sweats, and dialogue with cheese sauce. The boys were not impressed by the skateboarding drug dealer but his moves were pretty slick B.T.H. (before Tony Hawk).
I actually ended up giving the movie a pretty good rating. It didn't pretend to be anything more than it was and who Chuck is now makes who he was even better. The Police Captain was done very well, I liked his dialogue and delivery. The whole "karate meme" was a bit thick, but the kids ate it up. They even played "A Force of One" the next day - one would swing a fake punch that missed by a mile and the other would turn his head in the opposite direction because that's what happened in the beginning of the film... They thought it was great, not dumb. You've got to love that. They loved that I worked for a guy who trained with Chuck for 20 years (the same guy that had the “I Love Me” wall).
The best part for me was the end credits because I suspected one of the actors to be Bill "Superfoot" Wallace. And it was. Who is Bill Wallace? Don't ask, but acting isn't really his thing. I recognized him from years of reading Kung Fu magazines as a kid. He and Chuck were in in every issue of every magazine, Yee-Arr after Yee-Arr.
I'll leave you with this: "Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas."