Whatever you think of his politics (and I try my best not to), Oklahoma-born Chuck Norris is a Texas icon. Thanks to quality TV programming likeWalker: Texas Ranger,
and several Tejas-based movie roles, the Navasota resident is irrevocably tied to the Lone Star State (andSidekicks
was filmed right here in Houston). So when I saw this headline from theSan Jose Mercury News:
It became a moral imperative to put together a list of the top five moments where Norris himself touched somebody. With extreme prejudice.
5. Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
The mid-80s were a great time to be alive. Wait, no they weren't. Between the rise of the religious right and the cancellation of M*A*S*H, many of us were praying for a Commie invasion to take our mind off our troubles. Here, Matt Hunter (seriously) has the bad guy dead to rights, but why waste bullets on the lousy Russkie when you can administer swift justice with your feet? Some might call it savate but not Norris, because his editors at WorldNet Daily probably don't like the French.
4. Return of the Dragon (1973)
I don't what's more gratifying, the awe-inspiring majesty of the Colosseum and the living history that flows from the ancient gladiatorial contests into this climactic battle between Norris and Bruce Lee, or the disgust on Lee's face after he rips out a hunk of Norris' chest pelt (ah, the '70s...when neither men nor women were waxed and tweezed into hairless oblivion). Chuck gets his licks in here, but the outcome of the duel between the wiry Tang Lung and the hirsute Colt is never in doubt. Indeed, this is the only movie in which a character played by Norris actually dies.
3. Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
He's a former Vietnam-era CIA commando-turned-peacenik college professor/sports car test driver (and he rocks one fine porn star 'stache to boot). He's John Booker, and the guys in his old black ops squad are all getting whacked to keep them from spilling the beans about a failed POW rescue mission. In one of the few legitimate action scenes from this uncharacteristically (for Norris) talky flick, Booker makes short work of a bad guy in a scene that would've sent Ralph Nader on a crusade to improve Celica windshield integrity.
2. Missing in Action (1984)
Thanks to Norris and Sylvester Stallone, future generations raised on naught but pop culture will grow up thinking we won the Vietnam War. In this clip, Col. Braddock shows that while it's insulting enough to blow up a guy's boat, there's no excuse for laughing about it with your barbaric VC friends afterward.
And yes, touching with bullets counts for purposes of this list.
1. Sidekicks (1992)
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Including Sidekicks was a given. Granted, it's pretty lousy, even by Norris cinema standards, but it's one of the only movies shot in entirety in H-Town, and we get to see notoriously unfunny "comedian" Joe Piscopo - who did the whole "overcompensate for lack of talent by 'roiding out" thing decades before Carrot Top came along - get the shit kicked out of him.
-- Pete Vonder Haar