Friday, September 22, 2017

The Delta Factor (1970)

Dopey intrigue adapted from a Mickey Spillane novel, which means viewers should brace themselves for lots of stereotypical dames and goons, The Delta Factor celebrates the crudest sort of machismo. Morgan (Christopher George) is a smooth-talking scoundrel who drives ladies mad with desire, and who grins his way through car chases, fistfights, shootouts, and the like. Naturally, he knows how to drive any vehicle, how to win any game of chance, and how to identify compatriots in any foreign locale. Some Spillane stories channel his fascination with masculine energy into tough parables about the elusiveness of moral clarity, but The Delta Factor plays like a goofy, 007-inflected male fantasy. Many scenes are laughable, whether they involve Morgan vanquishing some lady with his superhuman virility or Morgan defeating a horde of soldiers with his spectacular marksmanship. The idiotic narrative goes something like this—after escaping from jail and getting recaptured, Morgan is offered a reduced sentence in exchange for going to South America on behalf of the U.S. government and liberating a political prisoner. Keeping tabs on Morgan during his mission is a slinky Fed named Kim (Yvette Mimieux), and complicating the situation is Morgan’s plan to recover $40 million in missing cash, then flee. Lots of stuff happens in The Delta Factor, so it’s never boring, per se, but, man, is this picture silly. Character motivations run the gamut from inconsistent to trite, narrative logic is in short supply, and the production looks and feels cheap. (What’s with the color of Kim’s hair changing from scene to scene?) George has fun playing the living incarnation of male id, Mimieux rocks a bikini well, and the villains are suitably swarthy—but The Delta Factor is pathetic compared to the James Bond epics it so desperately tries to emulate.

The Delta Factor: LAME

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