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MATT HUNTER

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Full Name: Matt Hunter
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Aaron Norris, Chuck Norris, James Bruner
Time Span: 1985 - 1986

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Matt Hunter is an agent with the CIA.
       Was, actually. He had retired from the Agency when we first meet him though this highly decorated and well respected operative is only around 45 years old on that initial meeting. He had decided enough was enough of the mayhem that he was continually asked to take part in and had moved to a very rustic small house in a swampy region along the Gulf of Mexico.
       He would have certainly stayed there a lot longer than he actually did, even after he was asked to return to service to help hunt for a band of terrorists invading the country, except that those very same mercenary/terrorists decided to take him out before he changed his mind. Killing a very good friend and blowing up his simple home with him still in it - that sort of thing tends to anger men like Hunter so he rethinks his rejection of the help request. Not good planning on the bad guys' part.
       We will not learn a whole lot about this solitary man during the two adventures we have of him. This is largely because the people telling us about him do not have a lot to divulge, other than he can get riled, not scared, when he is attacked by seemingly impossible odds.
       We know he is single though he is not immune to a lady's smile. He is extremely fit and no stranger to hard work. And he is one highly trained and very capable fighter who is confident with his abilities with just his hands and legs as well as when holding, well, virtually any weapon made.
       In the second adventure, there is some apparent discrepancy when we are told he retired from the Secret Service, not the CIA. Why the change is unknown though a bit confusing. What is not in doubt, however, is that regardless of his real previous employment status, he remains one very dangerous fellow.

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1985
Last Appearance:1985

1 Invasion U.S.A. Invasion U.S.A.
Written by Jason Frost, Raymond Obstfeld, Rich Rainey
Copyright: 1985

Novelization of the movie.
Former CIA agent Matt Hunter must come out of retirement to help eliminate Russian terrorists from destroying America.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1985
Last Appearance:1986

     According to an interview, Chuck Norris said he came up with the idea for the action movie "after reading an article in Reader's Digest that said hundreds of terrorists were running loose in the United States."
     Wikipedia reports that "the film was the first in a six-film contract Chuck Norris signed with Cannon Films following the success of the Missing in Action movies". It must have done alright because the deal to make more action movies continued but it did not do well with the critics who panned it big time for being way too over the top. Even Norris admitted later that it was "too much, unfortunately".
     That likely explains why the next year the intended sequel, Avenging Force, was passed by Norris as he went on to other things. The film was still made, though, with a different action star taking the role of Matt Hunter and enough changes made to differentiate it.

1 Invasion U.S.A. Invasion U.S.A.
Director: Joseph Zito
Writers: James Bruner, Chuck Norris, Aaron Norris
Actors: Chuck Norris as Matt Hunter, Richard Lynch as Mikhail Rostov, Dehl Berti as John Eagle
Released: 1985

A Soviet operative named Mikhail Rostov is plotting to invade the United States with Cuban mercenaries paid for with drug money. Worried that a retired CIA agent named Matt Hunter poses a major threat to the plan, he sends a team in to kill Hunter first. When a friend of Hunter is killed instead, Hunter decides it is vital to take on this threat.

2 Avenging Force Avenging Force
Director: Sam Firstenberg
Writer: James Booth
Actors: Michael Dudikoff as Matt Hunter, Steve James as Larry Richards, James Booth as Admiral Brown, John P. Ryan as Professor Glastenbury
Released: 1986

Matt Hunter is visiting with an old buddy from the military, a man who is running now for the Senate, when their party is attacked by gunmen out to kill the candidate but instead kill one of his sons. The killers are part of an ultra-radical group called the Pentangle out to take down the government. Though Hunter initially refuses a request to leave retirement to help take the group down, he is soon forced to do just that.

MY COMMENTS

     When it first came out on VHS, I was there in the video store grabbing my rental copy and watching it, likely with a friend who routinely dropped by to share my fixation on B-action movies. The next year I certainly went after the sequel though likely not as avidly because, well, it didn't have Chuck Norris (I proudly admit to having seen probably every movie he ever made).
     There is virtually no back story in these two adventures because their whole purpose was to blow stuff up and beat really bad people into regretting the fact they were bad people.
     So it is easy to see why the critics hated the movies. And because the first had Chuck Norris, it is easy to see why I, willingly admitting the movie was way over the top, still enjoyed it.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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