Delta Farce

Delta Farce (2007)
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Cast: Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, DJ Qualls
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes

With political debates swelling around us, we could all use a little levity, and sometimes during our most divisive arguments the best relief is pertinent satire. "Delta Farce," a military satire based around the Iraq war, unites the red and the blue. No, I'm not talking about the red states and blue states. I'm talking about red necks and blue collars. That's right, the minds behind "The Blue Collar Comedy Tour" have gotten together to pay their respects to America's men and women in uniform. Unfortunately, this movie comes off as more of an embarrassment than a tribute, and no one should be proud of it.

"Blue Collar" comedians Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall are joined by skeletal actor DJ Qualls as three hapless National Guard reserves whose personal lives are anything but all that they can be. Larry (Cable Guy) has just discovered that his girlfriend is pregnant with another man's baby. Bill (Engvall) is saddled with a shrew of a wife and a brood of unruly children. Everett (Qualls) is a gun-happy idiot. Anxious to get away from their troubles, they look forward to their monthly weekend Army duty, which mostly consists of relaxing and shooting guns. On this particular weekend, the growling and hopelessly clichéd Sgt. Kilgore (Keith David) effectively ruins their fun when he informs the trio that they are to be deployed to Iraq immediately.

En route to Iraq, our so-called heroes are accidentally dropped off of the plane prematurely. They wake up to find themselves in a vast desert. This must be Iraq! Eager to serve their country and fight off the enemy, they shoot at the first people they encounter, deciding it is best to ask questions later. By this point, it has already been revealed to the viewers that the soldiers are not in Iraq, but in Mexico. How long it takes them to figure this out, even with the Mexican villagers throwing a fiesta for them after they rid the village of a group of terrorist bandits, is apparently meant as an extended gag. After all, who can tell the difference between Iraqis and Mexicans? Trouble brews, however, when the leader of the bandits, Carlos Santana (Danny Trejo, and yes, his character's name is Carlos Santana), plans a deadly shootout.

It would be pointless and too lengthy to describe in detail everything that is wrong with "Delta Farce." The only farcical aspect of it is that it was greenlit in the first place. The movie is a nonstop bombardment of flatulence, scatological sight gags, gross ethnic stereotypes, and homophobic characterizations. I kid you not when I say that I cracked not one smile during the entire duration. Any attempt at true satire is ultimately drowned out by the sophomoric and often tasteless excuses for humor that make up most of the running time. This might as well have been written by an eight-year-old.

I know that the guys of "Blue Collar" have a built-in audience, but it is one that I will never understand. I am from the South, and their brand of humor, while entertaining on occasion, is far from characteristic. The image that Larry the Cable Guy puts forth is more damaging than celebratory to Southerners, and why he has such mass appeal is beyond me. How he got to be in pictures is easy to explain—the director, C.B. Harding, directed some of the "Blue Collar" tour films. To add insult to injury, Larry consistently throws out flag-waving support for his country and his call to serve it throughout the movie. This might have been called right-wing propaganda if it had any bite to it. Instead, it is only a skin-deep statement of patriotism, the cinematic equivalent of pasting a "Support Our Troops" bumper sticker on the back of an old pickup.

Lions Gate Home Entertainment has presented "Delta Force" in its original 1.78:1 widescreen image, enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The image is clean and vivid, with good color saturation. The picture is not extremely sharp, but for the most part, it delivers.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX track is probably a little much for this movie. The only time it really warrants it is during the big shootout at the end, and while it sounds nice, the rest of the film is driven by dialogue, and the track really does not distinguish itself from the alternate 2.0 stereo track. Both tracks are clear and adequate. English and Spanish subtitles are available.

Although no special features in the world could make this DVD worth your money, the ones that are presented are still disappointing. First up is a commentary with director Harding. He goes through the basics, discussing the production and the acting (if it could be called that). None of this is particularly interesting. To get through it, I surfed the Internet while it played.

Four interview featurettes follow. The first is "Hacienda Confidential," a five-minute segment with the three stars answering questions and generally making fools of themselves. Next is the eight-minute "All the Way to…L.A.?," with director and stars discussing the locations. "The Queen of Mean Gets the Last Word" features four minutes of comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, who plays Engvall's wife in the film. Lastly, Danny Trejo talks in "The Man Behind Carlos Santana." This eight-minute featurette is the most interesting of the bunch, but Trejo's serious stories of his past criminal life and prison stays are too good for this film (and his performance).

To sum things up, don't waste your time with "Delta Farce." The soldiers in Iraq have suffered enough without this pathetic representation. This is not about politics. This is about what is funny. And this ain't funny.