The President’s Man (2000)
Terror runs amok until struck by Chuck
From his early day as a karate tournament competitor, to his rise to stardom as a major motion picture leading man, to his current day status as a World Wide Web phenomenon, Chuck Norris has been an integral part of our lives for the better part of the last four decades.
Known for such action film series as Delta Force and Missing in Action, as well as his hit television show Walker, Texas Ranger, Norris has roundhouse kicked his way into all of our hearts (in some cases this statement can be taken literally). This was especially the case in 2000 when CBS first aired The President’s Man. The film is now available in the popular DVD format that is currently sweeping the nation, and is usually packaged with the sequel that aired two years later.
In The President’s Man, Norris portrays Joshua McCord, who serves as the title of the film indicates, the President’s Man. This means that the President of the United States can call on Joshua when matters of life and death come up and Joshua will get the job done by any means necessary.
We first meet Joshua as he is going about his business at his day job as a university professor. Apparently being at the beckon call of the most powerful man in the world doesn’t pay enough, so he needs to work the professor gig to make ends meet.
Joshua is called into action when the First Lady is kidnapped by a terrorist organization. Despite suffering an injury along the way, Joshua is able to singlehandedly rescue the President’s wife. However, the physical toll the mission takes on his body forces Joshua to come to the realization that it’s time to train a replacement.
Now I know what you are thinking – why is the Cinema Connoisseur giving away the plot of the whole movie? Well I haven’t. This all happens within the first 13 minutes of the film! If the quality of a film can be determined by the sheer number of plot developments that occur (and I believe it can), then The President’s Man is on pace at this point to be the greatest movie of all-time.
Joshua and his daughter Que believe they have found a suitable replacement in a young solider named Deke Slater, who is currently serving a 30 year jail term. Slater was court-martialed for disobeying (and decking) a superior officer, and was then framed for murder while serving his time. Given the choice between never being able to relax in the shower for the next three decades or laying his life on the line on a daily basis, Slater chooses the latter option.
McCord and Slater have a Yoda/Luke Skywalker type relationship initially, with McCord seeing Slater as being too impetuous. However, Slater works his tail off, fighting alongside McCord as they attempt to rescue a senator’s daughter from a cult compound, and to put an end to a dangerous band of drug smugglers/plutonium dealers. That’s the kind of stuff that really forces a couple of guys to bond.
The President’s Man starts off at a frenetic pace, and managed to keep this viewer at the edge of his seat for the whole 100 minutes. It’s tough to single out any one of Chuck Norris’ films as being his best, but I’m going to do it anyways – this is the one he’ll be remembered for, long after he dies – which may never happen.
In this crazy, terrorist ridden world that we live in, it would be nice to know that there is someone like Joshua McCord out there to protect us. I’ve noticed current U.S. President Barrack Obama’s approval rating has been nose-diving as of late. Maybe if he put in a call to Chuck Norris things would change. According to some online research that I did, it takes 14 puppeteers to make Chuck Norris smile, but only two to make him destroy an orphanage. Think about that Obama.