"Delta Force 2" has the distinction of being a movie that is so awkward it's not even sure of its own title.

The folder that holds the film's press material boldly displays "Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold."

The film's opening credits read simply, "Delta Force 2."

At the end of the film, the credits read, "Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection."


Is it any wonder this idiotic action picture looks like it was mangled by a committee?

In case you've forgotten, the first "Delta Force" film had Chuck Norris and the late Lee Marvin heading a crack anti-terrorist military unit that went to the Middle East to rescue hostages aboard a commercial airliner.

The film played out like an "Airport" sequel, with all kinds of familiar faces aboard — Hanna Shygulla, Martin Balsam, Shelley Winters, Joey Bishop and, appropriately, "Airport" regular George Kennedy.

But in "Delta Force 2," Norris has no such prominent co-stars.

And he doesn't really seem to have much to do with the Delta Force, either.

Again playing Col. Scott McCoy, Norris this time out is something of a one-man band, going after a South American drug kingpin, the all-purpose Hollywood villain of the moment.

The kingpin is played with eye-rolling lethargy by Billy Drago, who was much better in "The Untouchables." To give the audience a sense of how nasty he is, we see him kill the wife and son of Norris' best friend. He also kills a woman's husband and, later, her infant child. Mercifully, the latter killing is off-screen.

The first half of the film is all setups, giving Norris motivation and means to go after Drago.

But the second half of the film is all explosions and karate kicks, much of it in slow motion and all of it seeming to go on forever.

The last half-hour or so of this movie is almost unendurable. There are a couple of interesting, if ridiculous, stunts, but that's hardly enough to save the film.

In fact, it points up the picture's most serious problem.

Director Aaron Norris, Chuck's brother, knows how to blow up a house, but he has no idea how to have characters carry on a conversation. And the script, by Lee Reynolds, whose biography is strangely omitted from the press kit, is just a series of idiotic stereotypes and cliches.

There's no question that every movie Chuck Norris makes seems worse than the one before. One has to wonder how long his fans will continue to support him if he keeps offering them trash like this.

"Delta Force 2" is rated R for considerable violence and profanity.