Plot: Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) is one of a rare breed of cop, incorruptible and driven to clean up the streets. His latest operation is a sting to bust a group of drug dealers that are connected to organized crime, so he could take down some powerful criminals and get a lot of narcotics off the street. But the sting takes an unexpected turn when a rival gang ambushes the deal, killing the crooks and taking all the drugs and cash, before Cusack and the cops can take action. This lights the fuse on a full scale war between the Latino and Italian crime families, with Cusack in the middle, determined to make sure justice wins out. Diana (Molly Hagan) is the daughter of an Italian crime boss who isn’t involved in the business side of her father’s work, but still gets dragged in and is taken hostage in the process. Now Cusack is really pissed off and even with two full gangs of violent criminals in his path, he plans to unleash an epic one man war of his own and rescue Diana.
Entertainment Value: If you’re a fan of Chuck Norris, Code of Silence demands a place in your movie collection. The man is a tour de force here, using minimal dialogue and slowly turning into an unstoppable, one man task force that could hang with any other 80s action hero. Of course, if you don’t like Chuck Norris or the hyper masculine 80s action vibes, then you might not fall in love with this one. But I do think that despite the genre tropes and over the top moments, the movie is effective with emotional beats and the more quiet scenes. Norris might be a world beater, but he shows surprising warmth in a few key sequences. The rest of the cast is colorful and well picked, with Dennis Farina, Molly Hagan, Ron Dean, John Mahoney, and Ralph Foody, who is iconic for his role in Home Alone, as part of the Angels with Dirty Faces movie within a movie. I also love that Henry Silva is the main villain, as he is such a bad ass and his presence never fails to elevate a picture. I think Code of Silence is a good example of a movie that walks a well worn narrative path, but is able to add enough polish and fresh turns to make it a lot of fun. So fans of Chuck Norris might be the main demographic, but anyone who likes a good action movie should find a lot to like here.
No nakedness. A little blood flows here and there, but not much. The bulk of the red stuff comes from shoot outs and the squibs aren’t that splashy, so don’t expect wild, over the top geysers of crimson. But between the gun battles and some fisticuffs, a little blood creeps in. The action here is a lot of fun, with a personal highlight being a wild brawl on a moving train. This scene brings immense tension and looming danger, which would never happen in the CGI plagued action world of the 2010s. Seeing so many great, fun practical action scenes is a satisfying ride to take, even if it makes me sad to see what action movies would turn into. But this is a fun, wild 80s action ride with inventive, effective set pieces. The dialogue here is massive fun, with all kinds of tough talking cops and gangsters, abrasive exchanges, and Norris as the cool, quiet bad ass who always knows just what to say. I just found the writing in this to be snappy and full of small, but memorable lines. I also think having colorful, pretty authentic characters helps, as then the dialogue seems more genuine. The movie has some inventive set pieces, tons of fun dialogue, and of course, a strange robotic police tank, which isn’t given a lot of screen time, but is a nice oddball inclusion.
Overall Insanity: 3/10