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Picks and Pans Review: Code of Silence

updated 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/20/1985 01:00AM

The last time action film star Chuck Norris played a city detective, in 1981's An Eye for an Eye, the result was abysmal. But Code of Silence is Norris' most satisfying, exciting film. Norris plays a Chicago cop embroiled in a drug vendetta between Italian and Colombian mobs. Director Andy (The Final Terror) Davis incorporates a variety of subplots; Norris' partner, Dennis (Miami Vice) Farina, for instance, keeps nagging him to retire so they can start a concession stand outside Wrigley Field. He also uses the Chicago environment effectively, employing such picturesque locations as Lincoln Park. Code of Silence marks a number of firsts for a Norris film. Cast members don't deliver their lines as if they're just hearing them for the first time themselves. There is no mawkish love interest. Norris commits less manual mayhem than usual and actually loses one fight. (That defeat, however, is by a small army of steroid-stoked Colombians who hardly observe Marquis of Okinawa rules.) It's also refreshing to be able to describe one of Chuck's movies as gritty, and not be referring to the film stock. Norris has always been bankable. In Code of Silence, mirabile dictu, he's good, and still bankable. (R)

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