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CODE OF SILENCE (director: Andrew Davis; screenwriters: Dennis Shryack, Patrick Sheane Duncan, Michael Butler, Mike Gray/story by Butler & Shryack; cinematographer: Frank Tidy; editor: Christopher Holmes/Peter Parasheles ; music: David Feank; cast: Chuck Norris (Eddie Cusack), Henry Silva (Luis Comacho), Ralph Foody (Cragie), Bert Remsen (Commander Kates), Nathan Davis (Felix Scalese), Allen Hamilton (Pirelli), Molly Hogan (Diana Luna), Mike Genovese (Tony Luna), Ron Henriquez (Victor Comacho), James Fierro (Vito), Joseph Guzaldo (Nick Kopalas), Trish Shaefer (Molly Luna), Alex Stevens (Angel), Dennis Farina *Dorato), Roy Dean (Brennan); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Raymond Wagner; MGM/Orion; 1985)
Though it’s your typical formulaic violent action picture, in the model of Dirty Harry, it has more intelligence than expected.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A routine but hard-hitting entertaining karate action police story, that’s a starring vehicle for Chuck Norris. It’s solidly directed by Chicago native Andrew Davis (“The Fugitive”/”Under Siege”), delivering the goods on all the action sequences and presenting great location shots of the Windy City. It’s based on a story by Dennis Shryack & Michael Butler, and is written by the authors Mike Gray & Patrick Sheane Duncan.

Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) is a tough-guy honest Chicago police sergeant who comes too late to a drug raid on the Colombian crime family called the Comachos, who are led by the ruthless Luis Comacho (Henry Silva). A rival Italian gang run by Tony Luna (Mike Genovese) gets there first and steals the drugs and wipes out many of the gang members. This leads to a drug war between the rival gangs, as the Colombians brutally start killing off the Italians. Caught in the middle is the innocent teenager Diana Luna (Molly Hagan), the leader’s daughter, whom Eddie rescues from the Colombians and vows to protect.

Eddie goes “lone wolf” because during the initial drug raid, a drunk veteran cop Cragie (Ralph Foody) accidentally kills an innocent kid bystander in the hallway of the raid and plants a gun on him to cover-up his foul deed. Cragie’s rookie partner, Nick Kopalas (Joseph Guzaldo), can’t decide whether he should testify against Cragie and break the police “code of silence.” When he doesn’t, Eddie speaks out at the review board hearing against Cragie as unfit to be a cop and the rank-and-file of the department turns against him. He now has no choice but be a one-man army against the Colombians.

There’s no stopping Eddie when going after the Comachos. When at the hostile pool room headquarters of the Comachos, one of the gang offers his opinion about Eddie taking on the entire Colombian crime organization by himself, he sneeringly replies: “When I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you.”.

Eddie’s only helped in the climax by the department’s remote-control robot called “Prowler,” as he rescues Diana held hostage in a factory by the Comachos and destroys their cocaine operation.

Though it’s your typical formulaic violent action picture, in the model of “Dirty Harry,” it has more intelligence than expected. Chuck’s part was intended for Clint Eastwood, who turned it down. It’s arguably Chuck’s best film.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”