The Octagon

Roundhouse Kicks: 8/10

Ninja Content: 7/10

Octagons: 0/10

Before the stupid posters and t-shirts, before the catchy and overused jokes, before the god-like adoration, there was Chuck Norris.  Reaching fame as a white guy who was mildly good at martial arts, good old Chuck quickly became a must for rednecks who wanted to watch kung-fu, but hated Asian people.  He rose to fame with his signature moustache and constant altruistic behavior, laying down the framework for Walker, Texas Ranger early on in his career.  The movies came, and with them we learned a little about Chuck Norris, and a little about ourselves.  One thing I learned in “The Octagon” is that apparently most people don’t know what a ninja is or is not.

We find Mr. Scott James (Norris) being a casual man about town, stopping to show his appreciation to a traveling dancer for her use of the martial arts.  You see, Scott is a world champion martial artist who has sworn off fighting due to an accident where he almost ripped someone in half(I’m guessing, they only say that the guy was pretty much dead).  Since he can’t use his hands to kill, he uses his mouth to say boring things about being a good person and doing the right thing, which is just as deadly.  He gets mixed up with a rich woman who wants to use his skill(z) to defeat an evil master who is teaching the ancient art of something called “ninja” to anyone who pays enough(It’s an intense two-week training course where ninjas pop out from everywhere!).

Chuck Norris holds his ground, however, and refuses to get involved…until he learns that the evil master is actually his brother!  His Asian brother!  He has an Asian brother!  When the guys that are called ninjas(or something…I’m not sure what a “ninja” is…) start making a problem, Chuck kicks them in their collective faces and makes his way for the mysterious training camp where they do their arts and crafts of evil.  He has flashbacks, and remembers when his brother became a bad guy…when he lost a race to Chuck Norris.  That’s it.  That’s the evil back story.  He lost a race and got mad.  So Chuck makes up his mind…his brother must die.

Which one is the ninja?

Infiltrating the camp, Chuck quickly dispatches of some ninja-wannabes and starts some fires…because he’s Chuck Norris.  He shows off his abilities to use sticks as weapons, until he finally gets his hands on a sword and goes for the prize.  First, he has to face of against his brother’s hissing bodyguard, who stole his outfit from the Cobra Commander.  Once he stabs and burns that guy(again, because he is Chuck Norris), his brother finally agrees to face him!  And then runs away!  And then faces him!  And then runs away again!  And then faces him for realsies.  After a brief struggle and some stalemates, the brother sneaks up from behind and appears to stab Chuck in the chest…but we can’t be fooled!  Chuck had his sword handy and used the shish-kabob technique, a devastating attack where the blade basically goes in your enemies stomach.  But how does everything get resolved?  Who cares, Chuck Norris is silhouetted against a sunset -1 brother, and we get some credits.

The best part in the movie is that Chuck seems to have an almost psychic voice in his head that warns him of danger and lets us know what he is thinking.  It whispers and reverberates throughout the film, adding a hint of creep that is hard to do when you have long blond hair and a moustache.  The worst part is Norris explaining to everybody what a ninja is, as if it’s a big secret.  Shine on Chuck, one day you’ll be a Texas Ranger….

Let me hear your suggestions of what bad movies I should watch!

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