Forgotten Fridays: Code Of Silence

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

Today, we review Code Of Silence
(Happy Birthday, Mr. Norris!)


Directed by: Andrew Davis

Starring: Chuck Norris,Henry Silva, Mike Genovese, Dennis Farina

Released: May 3, 1985

THE GENERAL IDEA A drug bust goes horribly wrong, igniting a mob war between a Colombian drug cartel led by Luis Comacho (Silva) and due to the actions of Tony Luna, (Genovese) Costa Nostra.. On top of that, a burned out, over the hill police officer named Craigie (Ralph Foody) accidentally kills an innocent bystander during the raid and covers up his error. Caught in the center of both problems is detective Eddie Cusak (Norris) who is alienated from his own department for not backing Cragie while trying to protect Diana (Molly Hagan), Tony’s daughter, from Luis’ hitmen.

Chuck Norris already had a nice string of B-film action in the 80s, especially with the Missing In Action and Delta Force films. But ‘Code Of Silence’ -an Orion Picture- is considered to be his best film. Part of that is that even unlike most action films of today, ‘Code Of Silence’ had a well developed plot, well thought out. It didn’t focus on one story, but two. Characters, even that of Cusak, are three dimensional. In fact, it’s one of the few times the ‘action’ persona of Norris actually is put to the test. He’s not perfect. He isn’t invincible. But he is thought to be that way by his peers (“Where’s Cusak?” “Saving the world”) and despite having no backup, goes to kick ass in the Colombian cartel’s hideout in a pool hall. He also gets his ass handed to him. If you haven’t seen the film, don’t worry. You know there’s a rematch coming.

Another element that sets the film apart from other cop thrillers is the humor. Aside from the ‘stick up’ scene, it comes in the form of Dennis Farina, who plays Cusak’s partner Dorato, who gets shot in the foot. The character is always spurting off ideas for retirement, including alligator farming. There’s mild humor in The Prowler, a prototype remote controlled robot tank, and Diana’s yuppie acquaintances, who do lines of coke, only to stop in embarrassment when Cusack calls into his department. The gags are not over the top save one, and never take you out of the picture..

THE (sort of) BAD
…but there is one gag that sticks out. It’s a small diversion, where two dumb thieves attempt to rob a bar, not knowing it is frequented by cops. Not a horrible joke, I know some folks laugh at it more than I did.

The film always makes me wish for a return to this sort of flavor: action scenes which have great stunts, gun and fist fights without using the all too common shaky cam; a full developed story. The script by Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack and Mike Gray is top notch. But the true reason why this all works is because director Andrew Davis utilizes the best out of Chuck Norris, plays to the strengths of the actor’s persona. That also was the case later on with Steven Seagal (Above The Law, Under Siege).where the action star might not have been always the best of thespians, but there was a restraint on those stars, saying only what needed to be said and when to say it. The best scene out of ‘Code’ isn’t your usual Norris moment (“It’s a prediction”) or when he chases one of Luis thugs on the train. It’s what he does after he chases that thug on the train. Diana, having heard of her family getting killed at the hands of the cartel asks Cusak if it’s true. Cusak only nods, says nothing more. David Frank’s music score kicks in.

Since all of these Forgotten Friday reviews are going to be what I would already give a high rating to, I had a Tv, Rent or Buy scale going on, but it would seem that an overwhelming majority of my picks get a BUY rating.

So with every Forgotten Friday you see from now on, you get to rate your anticipation for yourself!

TV If you are at least a little curious, catch it if it comes on TV.

Rent If it is something you have heard of and forgotten, or just remember enjoying this as much as I did once upon a time, go rent it.

Buy But if you are like me, and you agree with my review you should go buy it. If its featured here, I already have.

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About Darren

"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." Alfred Hitchcock

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