Review: Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)

Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) is a Chuck Norris movie, and let’s face it, Chuck Norris has made lots of bad movies, although many still retain some bits of fun in watching Chuck beat the bad guys senseless. As many will remember, a number of years ago, Norris became widely known through the internet as the topic of many jokes or “Chuck Norris Facts”, which Wikipedia defines as “absurd hyperbolic claims about Norris’ toughness, attitude, virility, sophistication, and masculinity”. A few examples:

Chuck Norris once heard that nothing can kill him, so he tracked down nothing and killed it.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity. Twice.

Once a cobra bit Chuck Norris’ leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.

If you have ever wondered how Chuck Norris lives up to his online reputation in the movies, Lone Wolf McQuade might be the best place to start. At any rate, it is one of the few Good Chuck Norris movies, providing some cinematic quality while still offering up the defining pleasure of a Bad Chuck Norris Movie: watching him beat down bad guys in over the top fashion.

The setting is El Paso, Texas, and between the sweltering desert locales, the evocative Spaghetti Western music, and the man-alone sensibility of Chuck, this movie comes close to being a Western. That’s more of a stylistic choice, though, as the heart of Lone Wolf McQuade is pure Chuck Norris. Consider his character in the film, J.J. McQuade:

  1. He is a Texas Ranger and an ex-martial arts champion
  2. He drives a souped up 4 wheel drive Dodge Ramcharger (it is really souped up)
  3. He can take down at least 10 bad guys in the opening scene and not get hit once (if you think that’s a spoiler, you’ve never seen a Chuck Norris movie)
  4. Beer appears to be the only liquid that he drinks
  5. He prefers to work alone, although he learns how to be a team player by the end of the movie
  6. He owns a pet wolf (not as cool as when Chuck wrestles an alligator in Invasion USA, but still, pretty freakin’ cool)

You get the idea. If these Chuck Norris qualities appeal to you in an action/western/kung-fu 80s flick with a great musical score and topped with just the right amount of cheez whiz, then go ahead, eat it up with a big ‘ol spoon, cause this is, maybe, the definitive Chuck Norris movie. I know, that is a mighty claim, and I may get roundhouse-kicked by the master himself for such presumption. But, let it be said, it is difficult to argue with a movie that contains a scene where Chuck is badly hurt, buried alive in his super-duper truck, at which point he pours a beer over his head to revive himself, and then drives right out of the ground…

Rating: *** (out of ****): Good


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