One of the biggest action stars in movie history, but now mostly retired, Chuck Norris was an undeniable badass, even though his movies made no sense.
Chuck Norris might have unofficially retired but he remains a top celebrity, thanks to the numerous hilarious memes showcasing his toughness. It’s been eight years since the legendary action star appeared in a movie, but he resurfaced in 2020 for a brief cameo on the CBS procedural series Hawaii Five-O.
The actor started out as a martial arts trainer before venturing into Hollywood after being persuaded to do so by one of his famous clients: Steve McQueen. His movies became widely popular in the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s, however, there are a couple of things about them that seem absurd today.
10/10. Baddies Wait For Their Turn To Get Whopped
There were many moments in Chuck Norris movies where he took on huge criminal gangs all by himself. In as much as this is unrealistic, the bigger issue is that each of the baddies just waited for their turn to try their luck with him. Instead of assisting a partner-in-crime, they’d wait till Chuck’s character was finished with one person before approaching.
Logically, thugs in such scenarios ought to take advantage of their numbers. Since they are many, two or more guys should be attacking the hero all at once. Nowhere was this problem more evident than in the movie Top Dog. Because no man is as capable as him, Chuck’s sidekick in the movie was literally a dog.
9/10. Dropping Weapons To Make The Fight ‘Fair’
On more than one occasion, either Chuck’s character or the antagonist tossed aside their weapon (gun or knife) so that the fight would be fair. Well, fair as a martial arts contest. This beats logic because no martial arts fight is fair when one person is known for brutalizing opponents, while the other doesn’t have such a resume.
In a kill-or-be-killed situation, no one is likely to drop their weapon just to make the contest fair. A good villain or good protagonist ought to just go ahead and attack the enemy with whatever they have. An example of a ‘fair fight’ is the one between Col. James Braddock (Chuck Norris) and Colonel Yin in Missing In Action 2.
8/10. Roundhouse Kicks
Roundhouse kicks were a staple in Chuck Norris movies. Audiences would wait patiently for the man who has been called the toughest in the world to spin before letting his feet fly. The landing spot? Face, chest, abdomen, or anywhere else that was exposed.
While the roundhouse kicks were a joy to watch, they were quite problematic. The amount of time it took for the hero to do it was too long. No villain or henchmen in their right mind would just stand there and wait for the punishment. The number of seconds required to pull it off was enough for the recipient of the kick to find a way to block it or duck.
7/10. All Business … No Pleasure
Chuck Norris movies were all about the missions. You’d rarely see the characters he played swimming, playing a sport, or drinking a martini while sunbathing. His characters would never get intimate either. All kinds of flirting from women would be blocked because he “was not here for that.” He’s Chuck Norris, not James Bond.
This kind of seriousness can work when used for a few select movies. However, when an actor portrays the same no-nonsense character with the same personality no matter what the movie is about, it can be a bit of a bore.
6/10. No Injuries
It’s hard to fault Chuck Norris for not getting injured in his movies. It has only happened less than five times in his vast filmography. It might be the time to conclude that he’s immune to any kind of bodily harm. He’s even explained it before. In The Expendables 2, his character Booker “The Lone Wolf” said: “I was bitten for a king cobra. But after five days of agonizing pain, the cobra died.”
Chuck Norris’ characters put themselves in the line of fire many times, but they’d never get hit by bullets. They rarely got any serious injuries either. Incapacitation? Forget it! The characters were in peak physical condition, from start to finish.
5/10. Superhuman Mannerisms
The whole world knows that Chuck Norris is tough, but overdoing it is a serious crime. There’s nowhere where that was more on display than in the movie Forest Warrior. In a ridiculous scene that should have been left on the editing table, Jebediah McKenna (Chuck Norris) stopped a chainsaw by grabbing it with his bare hand.
It’s impossible to get away with this kind of thing in 2020. The actor always seemed to defy gravity with his flying kicks too. He would be in the air for a ridiculously long amount of time before his feet hit the target.
4/10. Same Profession In Every Movie
Imagine Jason Statham playing a badass chauffeur in every movie. Fans would have lost patience with him already. He’d be doing B-movies by now, not fighting superpowered villains with Dwayne Johnson. But when you are Chuck Norris, no one would dare lose patience with you.
At the height of his career, Chuck Norris either played a soldier or a cop in his movies. No CIA agent, no doctor … nothing too complicated. Just a cop or soldier who had legs of steel. Whereas actors like Schwarzenneger would experiment by even playing cyborgs, Chuck stuck to what he knew best. The monotony was never seen as a problem at the time, but it would never be tolerated today.
3/10. One Man Army
In his movies, Chuck Norris rarely needed help. No matter how tough the situation was, he could handle it. Even in situations where he had gone on a mission with a team, he ended up doing most of the work himself (or viewers were never shown what the rest were doing). An example of this was in Delta Force: The Colombian Connection.
The one-man-army trope wasn’t unique to him alone. Several other action stars of the 80s were guilty of it. Taking care of business all by themselves made them look tough at the time, but modern-day audiences would never have been impressed.
2/10. Prioritizing Action Over Plot
In Chuck Norris movies, the plot was never as important as the action. A basic storyline about a bad guy that needed to be dealt with, coupled with plenty of fight scenes, was good enough. However, in the modern age, where reviews determine how well a movie performs and how big an actor becomes, this wouldn’t have worked.
To put this into perspective, Chuck Norris has appeared in 30 feature films and only five of those have a score higher than 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. This proves that a solid plot is indeed necessary. Luckily, Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t a big deal in the 80s.
1/10. Unnecessary Fights
In the past, the actor publicly stated that he hates violence. He insisted that violence is only justified when used for purposes of defense. But in his movies, it was all defense and offense. Characters fought over the pettiest of issues.
Any little issue that should have been resolved via a conversation ended up being a fight. Actions speak louder than words, after all. Even though Chuck Norris fans wanted to see him fight and not talk, the excessive duels in his movies would have been deemed boring in modern times, where dialogue is considered more valuable.