Trivia This script was orininally turned down by Clint Eastwood.
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Code Of Silence (1985)
12th Aug 05
Chuck Norris shoots guns and saves people with the help of a remote control Police tank.
It's hard to talk about Chuck Norris without mentioning that he was in a Bruce Lee movie in the early 70s. So here goes: did you know that Chuck Norris was in a Bruce Lee movie in the early 70s? Amazing I know, but true all the same: Chuck played the final showdown bad guy in the quite bizarre Way of the Dragon. How cool is that? If I were Chuck, I'd want that as the epitaph on my gravestone, 'Here lies Chuck Norris, who was once the bad guy in a Bruce Lee movie. No, really!' Still, I doubt Chuck would agree with me, what with him turning into a bit of a religious fruitcake in his old age and all (check out www.chucknorris.com if you don't believe me) but it's still worth a try. Chuck, are you there?
Anyway, let's talk about what Chuck did after Bruce. Through the early to mid 80s Chuck made a string of action movies that all had several things in common. Firstly, they all starred Chuck playing, well, Chuck, as in the guy has the same facial expressions, hairdo and over all squeaky clean persona. Secondly, he always has very, very few lines and when he does speak it's always very quietly, like he's really concentrating. And Chuck only has two acting faces - serious and serious but with a knowing smile - but as they seem to cover pretty much all situations in the world of Chuck, maybe that's all he needs. Maybe he's a man of few words who likes to stick to what he does best - and that's action!
Which brings me on to our third observation about Chuck Norris: if he's a former world karate champion (or something like that), how come he shoots so many guns in his movies? Code of Silence I'm sure is no different from the rest of his films in the sense that they must have had call sheets with scene titles like 'Chuck shoots magnum', 'Chuck shoots shotgun', 'Chuck shoots bazooka', and my personal favourite, 'Chuck remotely controls experimental Police mini-tank thing'. Yeah really, although he does always tend to up on his own for the final battle so fair play to the guy, he needs all the help he can get.
Which brings us on to Code of Silence. This has quite a complicated plot so pay attention. Norris plays Kusack, a man-of-few-words narcotics cop, with a bit of a loud mouth partner who gets shot in the leg in the opening drug bust. Also on Chuck's team is a rookie partnered with an aging burnt out drunk of a cop called Cragie, whose first line is "if someone was smart they'd rip out all these graves and plant tomatoes!" The drunken old fool then goes and accidentally shoots an innocent teenage black kid and, with no witnesses save his rookie partner, plants a gun and claims self defense. Chuck, however, doesn't buy it (an opinion conveyed to the audience by Chuck using that patented serious look).
So, the drugs bust goes tits up, Chuck's partner is out of action, as is Craven while he awaits his hearing, leaving the rookie temporarily partnerless too. That leaves the chief with the perfect opportunity to roll out the
hero-breaks-in-new-rookie-partner cop movie cliché, just before the prowler remote control mini attack tank demo. Can you already smell the ending?
Anyway, back in mob world things are a little tense. The opening drug bust scene didn't go to plan for the police because a rival mobster, Tony Luna, stole all the money and drugs before they got there, sparking a mob war. This prompts Chuck to go and see the head of the Scalese family, but of course nobody is talking because of the infamous mafia code of silence, so he takes to tailing Tony Luna's attractive daughter instead. And when the shit finally hits the fan as all the hired goons crawl out of the woodwork guns a-blazing, it's a good thing for her that Chuck's nearby to save the day.
While no ones talking in mob land, a similar scenario is unfolding back at Police H.Q. as everyone's backing Cragie over the shooting of the black kid incident. Everyone except Chuck that is, who makes his position very clear, and practically ostracizes himself from his colleagues. The young rookie wants to come clean, but he’s a bit chicken shit, meaning when Chuck descends upon Henry Silva’s pad for the final showdown, all the other cops refuse to come to his aid. Thank goodness Chuck remembered that crappy tank from early on…
All in all Code of Silence is what you’d expect from a mid 80s Chuck Norris movie. This isn’t rocket science and it’s not Oscar material, but what it does it does well, ticking all the fun action movie boxes along the way. Chuck’s hilariously wooden but then I’d feel uncomfortable with anything less, and the rest of the cast just go through their acting motions. But for cheese action fun you can’t beat movies like this, especially when they pull out veteran actors like Henry Silva to play the obnoxious bad guy.
Gather friends, cook pizzas, chill beers and gather round. If you like you could even set up your very own Zombie Club night by doubling up this baby with Invasion USA. If you’ve got the stomach for all that Chuck, that is…
Versions All over the place and they're all uncut, so take your pick.
8th Jun 04 The film opens with a very similar voiceover narration to the original (see Trivia) but with different footage as we tour the furnace room, all fingernail scratches and blood-clotted hair, of the Hewitt residence.