Invasion U.S.A. (1985 film)
|Directed by||Joseph Zito|
|Produced by||Menahem Golan
|Screenplay by||James Bruner
|Story by||Aaron Norris
|Music by||Jay Chattaway|
|Edited by||Daniel Loewenthal
|Distributed by||Cannon Films|
|September 27, 1985|
|Box office||$17,500,000 (US)|
Invasion U.S.A. is a 1985 American action film made by Cannon Films starring Chuck Norris. It was directed by Joseph Zito. It involves the star fighting off a force of Cuban-led guerillas attempting to do the titular deed.
Both Chuck Norris and his brother, Aaron, were involved in the writing. It was made in the Greater Atlanta area of Georgia, and Fort Pierce, Florida. Miami landmarks, such as Dadeland Mall and Miracle Mile, can also be seen in the film. The 1986 film Avenging Force was originally intended as a sequel until Chuck Norris turned it down. It was instead made as a standalone film starring Michael Dudikoff, sharing only the protagonist's name.
The film begins by showing a group of Cuban refugees on a boat sailing for the United States. They are at first met by what appears to be a U.S. Coast Guard boat, with armed personnel. The captain of the vessel declares that the refugees are welcomed to the United States, only to have the Guardsmen open fire on them and take several bags of cocaine hidden in the boat. It is revealed that the armed personnel were communist Latin American guerrillas disguised as U.S. Coast Guardsmen.
The real Coast Guard eventually finds the boat full of the murdered Cubans off the coast of Florida. The FBI and the Miami Police Department arrive at the docks to investigate the murders. The communist guerrillas eventually land in Florida and exchange the drugs for weaponry from a drug dealer. They are led by Soviet operative Mikhail Rostov (Richard Lynch), who earlier had been disguised as the fake Coast Guard captain who opened fire on the Cuban refugees. Former CIA agent Matt Hunter (Norris) is asked to come out of retirement, but he declines. When Rostov and a team of guerillas destroy Hunter's residence in the Everglades in a failed assassination attempt, this convinces Hunter to reconsider.
Later in the day, hundreds of additional guerrillas land on the beaches of southern Florida and move inland using several pre-positioned trucks. The guerrillas begin their assault by destroying suburban homes. Another group of guerrillas (impersonating Miami police officers) attack a community center full of Cuban expatriates in Miami. When a squad car with genuine Miami policemen drives by to investigate the gunfire, the survivors angrily start vandalizing their car, leaving the police perplexed. Meanwhile, the FBI has no idea who is behind the attacks. Hunter and the CIA believe that Rostov is behind the attacks. As terrorist acts continue in Miami, race riots and general chaos develop within the city, as the terrorists had planned.
Later that night, the guerrillas start a shootout and bomb threat at a mall where people are doing their Christmas shopping. During the attack, Hunter comes into the mall and takes down the guerrillas one by one. Hunter tracks down the whole group that attacked the mall. National Guard troops are called up, while martial law is declared and armed civilians organize to protect their communities from further guerilla attacks. Hunter continues to go after the terrorists, stopping their plans to bomb a church, killing Rostov's right-hand man Nikko (Alexander Zale) outside of a shop, and saving a school bus full of children. Despite thwarting these attacks, Hunter is discouraged to come to a carnival bombed by the terrorists, realizing that there are too many of them spread out too far for him to effectively stem the overall tide of their attacks.
Alarmed by the threat, the government establishes a special theater command for the southeastern United States with the headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. At the command center, all 50 state governors and military officials meet to stop the terror attacks. The FBI takes Hunter into custody so he can give his account of thwarting Nikko's attack and he is taken to the command center, where he goads Rostov on national television to come out and kill him. Rostov orders all the guerrillas to assault the center. However, the guerrillas find no one inside the center and the National Guard surrounds the area with tanks and troops, using the arrest of Hunter as a trap. As the battle rages outside, Hunter comes face-to-face with Rostov and finally kills him with a M72 LAW. The terror crisis ends when the remaining guerrillas on the street surrender to the National Guard.
- Chuck Norris as Matt Hunter
- Richard Lynch as Mikhail Rostov/Michael Hames
- Melissa Prophet as McGuire
- Alex Colon as Tomas
- Alexander Zale as Nikko
- Dehl Berti as John Eagle
- Billy Drago as Mickey
According to the documentary on Cannon Films, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, the scene where terrorists destroy homes in a suburb with rocket launchers featured explosions in actual houses. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport was going to bulldoze an entire suburban neighborhood to extend a runway, so the filmmakers were allowed to destroy the existing homes. Similarly, part of Avondale Mall was being rebuilt, so the filmmakers were allowed to destroy everything in the actual mall.
The film met with mostly negative and mixed reviews from critics. On the website Rotten Tomatoes it currently has a 27% with a 51% on the "Like It". Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun Times, gave the film a negative review and called it "a stereotypical clone of action movies". However, like most of Cannon's films, it developed a cult following.
Cover of the novelization.
- A novelization was released in October 1985 by Pinnacle Books.
- Jay Chattaway's score was released by Varèse Sarabande on LP in 1985. It was later re-released, remastered with many minutes of new material, on CD in 2008 from Intrada Records. This was a limited edition of 1,000 copies.
- SPIN - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p111
- "Longtime King Of The Karate Flicks Is Finally Winning Over The Critics". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "Chuck Norris Is An All-out Star, With The Scars To Prove It". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- McCormick, James (11 May 2017). "Ninjas, Break Dancing and Filmmaking: An Interview With Director Sam Firstenberg". That's Not Current. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Canby, Vincent (1985-09-29). "FILM VIEW; IS ACTION OR POLITICS THE REAL ATTRACTION?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Invasion U.S.A.". Variety. 1984-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Canby, Vincent (1985-09-27). "Invasion U.S.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "Invasion U.S.A.". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2011-04-09.