50/50 Review #17: Lone Wolf McQuade.

So I'm from Texas. We all know that. But I might as well not be Texan. I hate country music. I don't like the whole cowboy style. I don't care for westerns. I'm definitely not Republican. And this is my first actual feature with Chuck Norris (No, I never watched Walker, Texas Ranger, either). The movie basically follows Texas Ranger J.J. McQuade (Chuck Norris) who gets a new partner, Kayo (Robert Beltran), just in time to face off against some Mexican gun runners. One of said baddies is Rawley Wilkes (David Carradine). Of course, family and love interests get involved.

First and foremost... what the hell did I just watch? None of this damn movie makes a lick of sense. The character actions are absurd. The villains are ridiculous. And then there are certain scenes here and there that are just laughably cheesy. For instance, there's one scene where Love Interest chases Norris around his yard with a garden hose until they fall to the ground and start making out, only for her to hold the hose upward so that they're making out with water coming down on them in slow motion. Right around this scene, Norris visits the main bad guy, who also happens to be a "little person" in a mechanical wheelchair. He talks WAY over-the-top and even has a wall that spins around to hide him in a secret room. I think even Bond villains would go "...really?" at this. And I will say... it's scenes like those that made the movie for me. I really liked when it went silly and cheesy like that.

What disappointed me was... everything else. To be perfectly honest, after all the build up of Chuck Norris over the years (I mean, the dude is essentially greater than God, if you believe the jokes)... the action was kind of a let down. I never thought the action scenes were all that exciting. Outside of the climax (humvee versus bulldozer?) there was nothing special it. Most of it was just people shooting guns at each other in just... regular kind of ways. It's not very exciting. Again, outside of the climax, the action wasn't all that great to me. Not to mention even when people got shot or hurt, they obviously and clearly never got shot or hurt (almost no blood). Norris, on the other hand, still exhibited a kind of cool factor regardless.

The story wasn't anything special, either. Nothing that hasn't been done a billion times (aloof badass cop gets a rookie partner, stumbles into conspiracy, goes too far, gets his badge taken away at some point, has to go prove himself and save the day after a female family member and/or love interest is kidnapped, etc.). The execution of it, on the other hand, was unique. It was very soap opera-ish. The acting was incredibly over-the-top. The music was ridiculously big and overdramatic. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

In the end, the movie was... well, it was alright. It wasn't all that exciting to me. Sorry, Jason. I think it needed to be a little more absurd for me to really love it. I mean, there's a lot I didn't mention that was weird or fun, but it wasn't enough to win me over completely. To be honest, I didn't dislike this movie in any real regard. In the line between so bad it's good and just bad, I don't think it ever crosses into 'just bad'. It always stays in the 'so bad it's good' territory, just not enough for my personal liking.

Stop Saying OK! OK.

(P.S. SPOILERS... Not the dog/wolf! That part made me sad.)


  1. Eh, it's what I was expecting. I first saw this movie at B-Fest in 2008 and when the scene of the truck plowing out of the dirt hit, almost EVERYBODY in the theater jumped up to their feet.

    I feel I left a similar comment on James' review of this movie, I don't mean to be lazy, I just like that story, that's all.

    But I say give it another watch sometime later and I'm sure it'll grow on you. I love how it's Chuck Norris vs David Carradine and it's like "Fuck, who should win?" And if you want PURE CHEESE Chuck Norris, you should watch "Invasion USA". I just LOVE "Lone Wolf McQuade" so that's why I made you watch it.

  2. I gotta see this, still, for Jason if nothing else. I think I'll end up somewhere between you two.

    I'm certainly no Norris expert, either. I've seen bits and pieces of his movies, as well as a few eps of Walker, but I don't think I've seen a full feature yet, either. That said, I wasn't shocked at all by your descriptions of the action scenes - I think most of the "legend" of Norris was borne of the internet and/or thanks to Walker and his spinning-heel kicks. I doubt any of the action in any of his popular 80s flicks is all that great or even memorable.

    Still, Jason has made this out to be cheesy fun, and I think it will be for me. I just gotta check out Cobra first, which I imagine will be more gratifying on many levels.

    1. Yeah, I figured that's mainly where the "legend" came from and that it was mostly ironic.


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