Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Missing In Action (1984)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

Two years before playing the evil immortal Chinese emperor / wizard in Big Trouble In Little China, James Hong signed on to this movie as the only Asian actor with a starring credit. But since Joe Bob hadn't seen "Big Trouble In Little China" yet when he reviewed "Missing In Action," he seems to be under the impression that it is a Chuck Norris movie:
Big Chuck Norris is out there swinging his hairy underarms through the jungles in one of the best exploding-bamboo flicks of the early eighties. After the Vietnam War, there were approximately three million American citizens held in secret prisons in Nam. About a thousand were busted loose in "Uncommon Valor," followed by three more Nuke-the-Gookers in which Norris, Bronson and Stallone bought up all the hand-held rocket launchers in Bangkok and pointed em a little bald-headed guys with yellow fingernails. At this time Chuck was still working on his single-expression acting style, so the first half of the movie he speaks less than 20 words--just bombs-over- Nam, bayonet-city, kamikaze-grenade, arms-flying-through-space flashbacks. Finally Chuck can't take it anymore so he kicks in his TV set and we know it's time--time to go back to Nam and get his buddies out. Chuck goes back to Saigon (he refuses to call it Ho Chi Minh City), refuses to shake hands with the Vietnamese President, then sneaks into the President's house and THROWS A KNIFE THROUGH HIS STOMACH. (They had trouble selling the Hanoi rights to this one at the Cannes Film Festival.) Then Chuck kung- fus a few gook soldiers and they run him out of Nam, and he goes off to Bangkok to buy enough ammo to blow up Argentina, and while he's there he picks up M. Emmet Walsh, the famous drive-in drunk in a bad Hawaiian shirt, and takes him back to Nam for a two-man assault against about 27,000 Vietnamese troops guarding the secret jungle prison. And, of course, every time Chuck opens his closet or gets in his car, a Bruce Lee imitator jumps on him and tries to kill him.
102 dead bodies! movie poster
POW wrist-hanging chest torture.
Helicopter Fu.
Raft Fu.
Two breasts.
Great Bangkok topless-bar meat-market scene.
Two brawls.
One exploding building.
Two exploding gook boats.
Four exploding bamboo huts.
One exploding M. Emmet Walsh.
Three motor vehicle chases, including one between a car, a truck and a boat, and one between a big boat, a little boat and a copter.
Two crash-and-burns.
Three crash-and-drowns.
One ax to the stomach.
With Lenore Kasdorf as the gratuitous bimbo fox.
Directed in the Philippines by the great Joseph Zito, who made FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER. Three and a half stars

2000 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights Reserved. Not an AOL Time-Warner Company in this lifetime.

Missing In Action 2: The Beginning (1985)

After the first one was a box office smash, Chuck rushed this one out the following year.
Actually a prequel to the first one, Chuck excapes from a P.O.W. camp in Vietnam in a movie "packed with violence, bloodshed and torture."
If you like that sort of thing.
Chuck Norris, Soon-Teck Oh, Cosie Costa, Steven Williams, different writer & director from the first movie. Rated R

"Missing In Action" availability on video and on DVD

For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob Briggs.com

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