Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985) – Review

3 Stars


The second film in the Missing in Action series is actually a prequel. A pre-title sequence showcases the ambush that lead to Col. James Braddock (Norris) and his company being taken captive as prisoners of war. The first 2/3rds of the film take place in a Prison Camp run by a sadistic (is there any other kind?) warden and his evil soldiers. In the last reel Braddock engineers an uprising against his captors, leading to a furious climax of shoot-outs and Kung-Fu action. The highlight being a hand to hand battle between Norris and Soon-Teck Oh. Steven Williams is effective as the American turn-coat, a ‘house slave’ to the Vietnamese Soldiers and his attack on Norris is handled well from a character stand-point.

There are a few very intense sequences including a scene in which Norris is strung upside down and gagged with a rat. Another in which an English journalist is executed is striking in its realistic depiction of a gun shot to the head. However this is a Cannon Films production and realism is far from what the company strives for. Its a b-movie in the truest sense of the word. The characters are paper-thin, the acting is minimal and a fight breaks out every ten minutes or so. Taken on these terms, it’s also a lot of fun. The best film in the MIA franchise.

Director: Lance Hool
Stars: Chuck Norris, Steven Williams, Soon-Teck OH

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