Missing the Martial Arts Action
As shells goes off around them Colonel Braddock and a soldier run through a jungle and when one of them shoots the enemy the other gives a nod and a big thumbs up. It is so cheesy it is ridiculous but in a strange way isn't that the reason why anyone would watch "Missing in Action" for the cheesy side of things. And both the movie and its star Chuck Norris deliver, never going the full hog and pastiching the war movie genre but dropping in enough corny bits to make it amusing.
Many years after having escaped from a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp Colonel James Braddock (Chuck Norris) is still plagued by the memories of what went on and is convinced there are still many American soldiers being held in the Vietnamese jungle. Reluctantly he agrees to return with government officials to try and discover whether there are still soldiers missing in action but it is a journey back which brings him face to face with those who tortured him and accusations of being a war criminal. After finding the proof he needs Braddock heads to Thailand to meet up with old war buddy Jack Tuck (M. Emmet Walsh - Blade Runner) who with Tuck's black market connections set about rescuing those who are still being held.
So "Missing in Action" doesn't need a great deal of explaining, a former war hero returns to the place of his nightmares and launches a rescue bit to save soldier's who having missing in action since the war. It tries to make more of it that there is with Braddock accused of war crimes when he returns to Vietnam but that is just a minor distraction to the simple action storyline which is to follow.
As for the action well I could say this is Chuck Norris doing a Stallone with this being a former Vietnam soldier but in truth this is not in the same league as a Rambo movie. In fact it is in some ways disappointing as whilst Norris is famous for being an action star with great martial arts skills the majority of the action relies on machine guns and explosions rather than explosive fists. Don't get me wrong as all the war action is still entertaining but a little of a let down. And to be honest that is about it because you certainly don't watch this sort of Chuck Norris movie for anything else especially the acting.
What this all boils down to is that "Missing in Action" is so so, an alright little movie for fans of 80s action movies but not something which will make you want to watch it again and again.