The year 1985 gave action movie fans so many genre classics from Stallone returning to Vietnam in Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Arnie killed thousands of South American soldiers to get his daughter back in Commando while the bearded Norris was protecting America in the cannon films classic Invasion USA.

Invasion USA stars Chuck Norris as former CIA operative turned crocodile wrestler Matt Hunter tasked with stopping Richard Lynch’s Soviet terrorist and his multi-ethnic coalition of mercenaries who’ve stormed the beaches of Florida creating chaos as they try to overthrow the United States government.  The script by James Bruner from a story idea by Chuck and Aaron Norris is confusing. Producer tampering has removed key plot elements, this sadly sacrifices an unfolding narrative in order to show Matt Hunter take down bad guys with his leather holstered Uzis and removing a bomb from a speeding school bus.

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At the time of its release Invasion was seen as jingoistic right wing fantasy who’d believe that terrorists could cause mayhem within America,but with current world events of similar acts Invasion Usa is weirdly prophetic. When it comes to a Norris flick audiences don’t come to his movies for great acting but he throws himself into the action with gusto.  The action heroes of today would never be allowed to handle a real life alligator or hang from a speeding pick up crashing through shopping mall store fronts Chuck does.

The performance that scar-faced Richard Lynch (caused by an LSD trip that went wrong in 1967 in Central Park in which he sat himself on fire) gives a real sense of menace particularly in the drug deal scene which turns nasty with Billy Drago and his nameless coke-snorting henchwoman. The director Joseph Zito uses his $12.5 million budget to create strong action sequences and an epic scale to the movie particularly in the final urban army ambush all done without the aid of CGI.

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The disc, which arrives on UK shores from 88 Films for the first time on Blu-Ray, contains a decent set of extras alongside trailers, booklet on composer Jay Chattaway, two interviews with James Bruner and editor Daniel Loewenthal. The most interesting extra is an informal/informative commentary from the multi talented Bey Logan moderated by academic Calum Waddell who offer up production history titbits,recollections of Cannon Films and political views during there time in the chat track booth.

If the 80’s action film needed a poster boy for the excesses and what makes them thrilling to watch then Invasion USA would be it and to be enjoyed with beers on a Friday night.

3/5

Dir: Joseph Zito

Scr: James Bruner, Chuck Norris

Starring: Chuck Norris,Richard Lynch,Alexander Zale, Mellisa Prophet

Prd: Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus

DOP: Jiao Fernandes

Music: Jay Chattaway

Country: USA

Year: 1985

Run time: 107 mins

Invasion USA is available now on Blu Ray