Missing in Action (film)


Missing in Action (film)
Missing in Action
Directed by Joseph Zito
Produced by Menahem Golan
Yoram Globus
Lance Hool
Written by Arthur Silver
Larry Levinson
John Crowther
Lance Hool
James Bruner
Steve Bing (characters)
Starring Chuck Norris,
M. Emmet Walsh,
James Hong,
Lenore Kasdorf
Music by Jay Chattaway
Cinematography João Fernandes
Editing by Joel Goodman
Daniel Lowenthal
Distributed by Cannon Films
Release date(s) November 16, 1984 (1984-11-16)
Running time 101 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,550,000 (estimated)
Box office $22,812,500 (USA)

Missing in Action is a 1984 action B-movie directed by Joseph Zito and starring Chuck Norris. It is set in the context of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. Colonel Braddock, who escaped a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp 10 years earlier, returns to Vietnam to find American soldiers listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War. The film was followed by a prequel, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985) and a sequel, Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988).

The concept for the film originated from a story treatment, written by James Cameron in 1983, for the film Rambo: First Blood Part II that was floating around Hollywood at the time.[1] This explains the similar plotlines between Rambo and MIA. Representatives from Cannon Group were "inspired" by Cameron's script and subsequently produced and released the first two Missing in Action films two months before the release of Rambo,[2][3] in order to ride that franchise's success and to avoid the inevitable comparisons.

Missing in Action 2 was filmed back to back with Missing in Action, and was actually set to be released first before the producers changed their minds.[4] This explains crediting writers who created an original character for a film in the supposed first entry.

Contents

Plot

Colonel James Braddock is an American officer who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp, then escaped 10 years ago. After the bloodiest war, Braddock accompanies a government investigation team that goes to Ho Chi Minh City to check out reports of Americans still held prisoner. Braddock gets the evidence then travels to Thailand, where he meets Tuck, an old Army buddy turned black market kingpin. Together, they launch a mission deep into the jungle to free the American POWs from General Trau.

Colonel Braddock, who escaped from a POW camp after 10 years, returns to Vietnam. He attempts to track down the location of a POW camp and rescue the prisoners to prove that several MIAs are still alive and being held captive. He is prompted to attempt his mission because of Government denials about the possibilities of existing POWs.

Braddock, a man who was a POW in Vietnam, who just recently came back, is asked by an American delegation to go to Vietnam to see if there are any POW's there. When he arrives the General in charge makes some disparaging remarks to Braddock and they accuse him of crimes against them. Braddock later goes to the General and demands to know where the POW's are and after telling Braddock he tries to kill him but Braddock kills him. Later he is asked to leave, he then goes to Thailand to see a friend and to try and get those men out. But he is being pursued by a man who tortured him when he was a prisoner.

Cast

Reception

Missing in Action received overwhelmingly negative reviews. The film has been widely recognized as a rip-off of the Rambo film series by critics and viewers alike, particularly Rambo: First Blood Part II. Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic.com gave the film 2 stars out of 5, writing that "Norris does Stallone... badly" in his review.[5] In a 2003 BBC article entitled "Rambo: Pretenders to the Throne", Almar Haflidason wrote "the runaway success of the Rambo trilogy inspired dozens of rip-offs", citing that the Missing in Action series was the most famous of the Rambo clones.[6] Many audience reviews on the film's IMDb page cite the film as a "cheap Rambo knock-off".[7][8][9][10]

Derek Adams of Time Out wrote that the film was "so bad that it defies belief. It's xenophobic, amateurish and extraordinarily dull". He also labeled it as "all-gooks-are-baddies propaganda".[11] On the film's AllMovie profile, Jeremy Beday described the film as a "crass, dopey Rambo-esque film that ultimately fails to connect with anything interesting in the realm of fact or fiction" and that its "chop-socky, shoot-em-up, explosion-a-minute action quickly wears thin".[12] Steve Crum of Video-Reviewmaster.com wrote that MIA was "Chuck Norris' best film, and that isn't saying much".[13] The film currently holds a 23% "Rotten" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[14]

References

  1. ^ "IMDb user reviews for Missing in Action". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/usercomments?start=20. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Box Office Information for Missing in Action 2". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=missinginaction2.htm. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Box Office Information for Rambo: First Blood Part II". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=rambo2.htm. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Trivia for Missing in Action". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/trivia. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Missing in Action Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1014008-missing_in_action/. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rambo: Pretenders to the Throne". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/06/19/rambo_pretenders_article.shtml. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "IMDb user reviews for Missing in Action, page 1". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/usercomments?start=0. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "IMDb user reviews for Missing in Action, page 2". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/usercomments?start=10. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ "IMDb user reviews for Missing in Action, page 3". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/usercomments?start=20. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  10. ^ "IMDb user reviews for Missing in Action, page 6". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087727/usercomments?start=50. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Missing in Action Movie Review". Time Out. http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/73277/missing_in_action.html. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Missing in Action AllMovie Profile". All Movie Guide. http://www.allmovie.com/work/missing-in-action-32897. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Missing in Action Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1014008-missing_in_action/. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Missing in Action Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1014008-missing_in_action/. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 

External links


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