1 1/2 StarsHellbound plays like a greatest hits collection of familiar Chuck Norris motifs while simultaneously ripping off better films. It is the kind of sloppy movie that features an awakened evil in human form roaming present day Chicago with complete understanding of culture, slang and technology that wouldn’t come into existence until thousands of years after his entombment. If the filmmakers have that level of contempt for their audience it’s hard to derive much pleasure from the proceedings. Norris turns in a welcomed relaxed performance in a picture that looks cheap on every level. Cannon films’ name is attached as distributor but Hellbound looks like a CBS TV Movie of the Week.
The escaped demon has been set loose in present day Chicago where he has a fling with a call girl (I’m not making this up) before meeting with a rabbi who possesses a sacred scepter. The rabbi attempts to slay the demon, but is brutally murdered in the process. Chicago cops Shatter (Norris) and Jackson are assigned the homicide investigation. This inexplicably leads to Israel and a archeological dig site that is being run by the same pesky demon, although now in the guise of a college professor. Norris is swept up in an attraction between himself and a female excavator; while Jackson doesn’t take to the heat and culture of Israel or dealing with evil entities and continually begs Shatter to return to their native Chicago where he feels more adept in dealing with the city’s pimps and crack dealers.
Hellbound is Chuck Norris’ version of End of Days, the 1999 thriller featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger going to battle with the devil on the eve of the new millennium. While that picture was directed with style by the underrated Peter Hyams, poor Chuckie is saddled once again with his brother and frequent director, the inconsistent Arron Norris. The action is sparse, the story is nonsensical and the direction is lethargic.
Director: Aaron Norris
Stars: Chuck Norris, Calvin Levels, Christopher Neame