Missing In Action is classified as a classic due to its status as a cult war film. It is directed by Joseph Zito, a legend in the action movie genre. It stars the epic Chuck Norris and features all of the action sequences you could want in a single film. It is a perfect entry for the action flick hall of fame if one exists in Hollywood.
United States Colonel James Braddock (Chuck Norris) is a Vietnam War veteran who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp. He is soon thrown back into the communist nation after reports that there are still MIA soldiers being held in Viet Cong camps throughout the country, despite the denials from the dictatorship in that nation.
Braddock connects with Tuck (M. Emmet Walsh), a retired officer turned black market smuggler, who helps him secure supplies in Thailand before the two head to Vietnam to expose the communist government imprisoning US soldiers within their borders.
This movie was considered a rip off of the Rambo sequel First Blood Part 2, despite being released in theaters prior to the film with Sylvester Stallone. The critics do what they do best and slammed it, claiming it was “campy.” Sure, it has some camp to spice up the dialogue. It is still an interesting and entertaining film about American troops’ treatment overseas. Audiences seemed to connect with it and applauded the patriotic attempt at rescuing lost MIA soldiers because, despite the critical response, the film is one of Chuck Norris’s largest box office performances.
I do say it is a classic and the naysayers will have to get over it. It is Chuck Norris when the 80s action genre was just starting to kick in and I think it has a lot to say about how America’s MIA troops have been ignored and/or mistreated. Sure, the movie has flaws, but its message is more profound than most films that touch on this topic.
Bottom line, Missing In Action does have that typical 1980s B-movie camp that has made those films so popular. While not a great film, it is definitely one that is action-packed and full of fun for any fan of the great Chuck Norris. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and found it incredibly entertaining.
FAVORITE QUOTE: The misfortunes of war!
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Graphic violence, nudity, foul language
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This article has been updated from a previous version.