Missing In Action (1984) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

One of the first ‘Let’s bring our boys, back’ Vietnam action fantasies from the 1980s. Missing in Action beat Rambo: First Blood Part 2 to the screen bye nearly a full year. This Cannon films cheapee is too slow going and small scale to truly be effective. Chuck Norris plays Col. James Braddock an ex-P.O.W., still traumatized from the physical and mental atrocities inflicted upon him during his stay in a hell-ish prison camp. After being persuaded to join a senator on a diplomatic mission to Saigon, Braddock uses the opportunity to storm the jungles; kill legions of Communist Baddies and rescue any forgotten American Soldiers.

Wooden direction and lack of action in the opening act, nearly sink this minor entry. Incredibly simple-minded fare has it’s moments, but it goes on far too long. In standard B-movie fashion the good guys are portrayed as brave and virtuous while the bad guys are repellent creeps. After achieving some acclaim with Lone Wolf McQuade, Missing in Action made Norris a ‘star’ due to it’s unbelievable box-office success. Although this is the first in the series, it was originally planned as the sequel. Both films were shot back to back, when production ran over schedule on the other picture, this was rushed into theaters. An odd an iconic volume in Norris’ film cannon.

Director: Joesph Zito
Stars: Chuck Norris, M. Emmit Walsh, James Hong

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