It has been 25 years since I last watched a Norris film. My guess: I had the good sense to stop watching his stuff when Missing in Action 2 came out. (I lacked the good sense to skip the first Missing in Action, which, if I remember correctly, is so terrible that it makes Commando seem brilliant.)
So I had a chance to watch Silent Rage last night, a kung fu horror film of sorts in which Norris has to battle an axe-murdering psychopath who is given medically enhanced healing powers. This movie has so many lame elements in it. The bar fight with a bunch of zany bikers. The fat, goofy sidekick. The ex-girlfriend who doesn't trust Norris, but who can't say no to his sexual lovin'. But all of these lame elements are secondary flaws compared to Norris' stilted acting and his rather poor fighting skills. The belligerent bikers race up to him in mad rage, for example, only to halt a step or two away and allow Norris to do some rather unspectacular kick.
All that being said, I enjoyed the movie. Ron Silver has a supporting roll as a doctor and he does a great acting job. The axe-murdering psycho is played by a very ugly man, who looks incredibly creepy and mindless. And there are some good suspenseful sequences where the killer hunts down people.
Silent Rage is, in short, a better film than I expected. I kind of enjoyed it, actually. Now I have an interest to revisit a few of Norris' older films that I haven't seen in literally decades. I remember thinking Good Guys Wear Black and Lone Wolf McQuade being his best.
Any thoughts? What are our favorite Norris films?