Before watching the movie:
I recall being disinterested in this movie when it came out, and not really seeing anything to change my mind. I’ve since had my fill of the Blue Collar Comedy guys in general, and I seem to recall seeing this have a poor reputation.
So why am I watching it now? I’ve come around to morbid curiosity. Tropic Thunder is probably a better movie, but most people agree on that. Now I want to see how badly Delta Force missed the mark.
After watching the movie:
Larry just got fired from his job waiting tables after his proposal to his girlfriend on the restaurant’s PA system turned into a breakup. Bill, who lives off a personal injury settlement, is constantly browbeaten by his wife. Everett got fired from the police after four days on the job for vehicular manslaughter and now lives in a storage unit at the facility that hired him as a security guard. But at least as members of the State Military Reserves, they get to spend one weekend a month playing soldier and partying together, until they get called up to be deployed to Fallujah. After getting rushed through their training by Sgt Kilgore, they get shipped out on a carrier plane. When the plane gets caught in a storm over Mexico, the pilots dump cargo in order to lighten the craft, which happens to include the humvee the three guys were sleeping in, and Kilgore gets ensnared in the ropes as he looks for his missing men. When Larry, Bill, and Everett wake up, they find themselves alone in the desert and assume they’re in Iraq. They soon encounter the village of La Miranda, beset by a gang of banditos the trio assume are Enemy Insurgents, and they engage, driving off the threat and bringing Liberty And Freedom to the Oppresssed. The leader of the gang, the dreaded Carlos Santana (not the singer, the real Carlos Santana), will not allow the village to go without paying their tribute, and Sgt. Kilgore is out there hunting down his AWOL reservists.
Can this movie just be about Danny Trejo and Keith David? They were by far the best parts. Larry, Bill, and (checks smudged writing on hand) Edmond are all three very thick stereotypes, as you’d expect of two guys known for redneck comedy and the guy who plays comic relief sidekick to them, the idiots’ idiot friend. Of course, it’s 2000s comedy, so there’s always “transgressive” “jokes” that don’t age well, but especially so since the two big leads built their careers on that brand of laugh-getting. The jingoism reminds me of Team America World Police, but dialed back to 5 or 6, to the point where it’s hard to tell what’s actively endorsed by the movie, what’s just the background radiation of the late Bush era, and what’s being satirized.
I appreciate that the mistaken impression that they’re in Iraq only lasts long enough to get them in trouble. It’s a bit troubling that once the illusion has passed, every Mexican they meet speaks fluent or nearly fluent English, but before the penny drops almost nobody does. The Boys are very racist until they can converse with people and then suddenly they’re respectful with everyone and that seems a bit tidy and also not at all something the movie actually meant to comment on. This ends up leading to a romance subplot I thoroughly did not buy.
The overall impression is that it’s a mess of topical humor best left in the past, with scenery chewed to bits by David and Trejo. I have satisfied my curiosity and I do not wish to return. This is not a place of honor. Nothing valued is here.