The only problem is, a ruthless arms dealer and mean sum'bitch by the name of Rawley Wilkes shows up (a post Kung-Fu David Carradine) and messes with McQuade's daughter and her fiance after an interrupted hijacking of military weapons. The fiance is gunned down, the daughter's car pushed into a ravine and McQuade's mentor is killed. Now, pissed off and out for blood, McQuade teams up with a fresh faced State Trooper and an in the know federal agent to deliver some hard justice, Texas-Mexico style. One blood wet burrito, coming up! Storming Wilkes' hacienda using machine guns, six-shooters and a bulldozer among other things, hero and villain drop their guns and go head to head for a final showdown. Clad in a white and argyle sweater with black slacks, Wilkes uses some fancy, swaying, kung-fu style hand motions while McQuade's military vest with no shirt underneath to reveal a hairy chest goes for a simpler, put up your dukes, karate style. Carradine moves fluidly and throws lots of jump kicks, seemingly getting the better of Chuck until McQuade's daughter tries to intervene and gets back hand punched, in slow motion, which calls down the Texas Thunder and we get Norris trademarks like the jump flying sidekick, front leg hook kick and spinning back kick. McQuade then dodges bullets from a Mac-10 uzi and says bye bye to Wilkes by way of a grenade blowing up the shit out of an ammunition filled shack.
Literally a modern day Spaghetti Western, Lone Wolf McQuade unfolds in long shots, close ups and dramatic music. Directed by Steve Carver with a script from B.J. Nelson and H. Kaye Dyal, Lone Wolf McQuade manages to mix the modern western motif with some light hearted comedy and karate action. Norris' character is a little more well rounded here than his previous, straight karate movies and the bits about his preference for beer, talking trash to just about everyone around him and being a softie in regards to his daughter are nice touches. As is the scene where he's shot and buried in his truck only to wake up, pour a beer on his head, take a sip, spit it out then turbo boost out with his super charged engine.
Produced for an estimated $5 million bucks, Lone Wolf McQuade would gross 3 times as much and be given a 3.5 star review by a younger Roger Ebert. The film and role would be one of Norris' most iconic and given the team up with familiar to martial arts audiences face David Carradine, it's easy to see why. His hit show Walker, Texas Ranger would have been called McQuade, Texas Ranger if anyone had asked MGM for the rights. When Norris popped up in 2012's The Expendables 2 for his meta soaked cameo, he's dubbed "The Lone Wolf".