Firewalker (1986) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Chuck Norris, Louis Gossett Jr., Melody Anderson
Rated: PG/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
Max Donigan sets off on a treasure hunt with his friend Leo and newly-acquired partner Patricia, who provided the treasure map. Along the way they encounter a few bar fights, evil “coyotes”, and other obstacles they are able to overcome with ease. When they find the temple with the treasure, they also find the Firewalker, who wants to retain the power of his ancestors and put an end to the trio’s treasure hunt. In the end, Max and his two friends persevere and return home wealthy.
A Chuck Norris movie is the fast food of the movie world. It isn’t that great (or great for you) per-say, but it can hit the spot when you need a quick fix or just don’t feel like having to use much effort in film watching. A Chuck Norris movie is a prime example of what I would call a pop-corn movie. You just pop that son gun in, you pop some pop-corn, and there you go. For at least an hour and a half all your troubles take a backseat to silly and mindless fun! Firewalker totally fits what I’m talking about. It is a buddy comedy breaded with an action and adventure movie. Chuck Norris and his side-kick (played by the very funny and entertaining Louis Gossett Jr.) run around the jungle and into caves looking for gold, Chuck romances the female here (Melody Anderson), they are chased by an Indian who has an eye-patch that switches eyes, and Chuck busts out karate. It is your typical Chuck Norris flick, nothing more nothing less, but that isn’t at all a bad thing in my eyes. It is totally 80s, with total cheesy lines, and the acting isn’t going to win any awards overall, but who’d be watching this thing expecting anything else?
That all being said, you don’t really go into a movie like Firewalker on a regular scale. You’d use a Chuck Norris scale in comparison. So on that scale, this isn’t Missing in Action or Lone Wolf McQuade, but I’d still say it is fine for what it is and better than say, Hero and Terror. Plus, it is one of those fun Norris films and they often get a bit shoved aside for the more serious action flick and I do love them as well, but I also can appreciate this. It feels like nobody here was ever trying to do anything other than just have a good time, outside of perhaps a little bit of trying to be Indiana Jones to some extent. This is just some of that madness you’d get in the 80s from Cannon and while it isn’t by any means Gone with the Wind or perfect (to put it nicely), we need to appreciate these types of movies like Firewalker, because they are few and far in between now. The plot is silly, the characters are silly, and not everything makes a whole lot of sense, but it is fun and it isn’t meant to be seen as anything other than just a good time. In that degree is achieves what it set out to do.
Quality of Transfer: 87%
Screenshots from Whysoblu