Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)
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as Col. James Braddock
as Gen. Quoc
as Lin Tan Cang
as Van Tan Cang
as Rev. Polanski
as Gen. Duncan
as Embassy Gate Captain
as CIA Agent
as Embassy Guard
as Embassy Secretary
as Lin's Friend
as CIA Agent
as CIA Agent
as U.S. Helicopter Pilot
as U.S. Helicopter Pilot
Critic Reviews for Braddock: Missing in Action III
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Audience Reviews for Braddock: Missing in Action III
Braddock : Missing in Action 3 1988. Again this uses the tash to depict a younger Norris however the scene in which it is used has a story element which contradicts the previous two films. The scene is also the key scene of the plot meaning the whole story contradicts the previous installments. Nevertheless it has great action and an incredible finale making for a decent classic 80s action movie.
Chuck is back and he's wearing his bandanna!. This time he's found out (conveniently by some creepy reverend who just happens to be in the US from Nam for what seems like five minutes) that his wife is still alive and well (sorta) back in Nam. Old Chuck thought she had died during the fall of Saigon. To make matters worse she has had his child! omg!! now Chuck is seriously pissed and you better bet your ass he's gonna KILL EVERYONE!!. So as you might expect this film plays out pretty much like the original and sees Chuck going back into the jungles of Nam to kick ass. Of course, as you might expect, this being the third film its bigger, louder, a bit more impressive with stunts and explosions and ever so slightly more bloody...but not much, oh and Chuck still won't swear. To add spice to this adventure old Chuck most endure the sight of his wife getting executed by the evil Vietnamese General not too soon after his initial rescue attempt. Holy wonton soup General! now you've REALLY done it! Chuck's gonna bite your nuts off whilst using polite profanity. Its probably the best of the trilogy for me because its just that bit grander yet still maintains those glorious 80's visuals and vibes that really set the stage for a retro offensive. Chuck is the epitome of the one man army, he parachutes into Nam with his own personal speed boat loaded with gear, treks through the jungle unaided and taking no malaria tablets, finds the enemy base, crashes it, saves his wife and child and then promptly gets caught. But fear not! Chuck escapes after some mild torture, gets his MASSIVE assault rifle, heads back to the enemy base, saves a whole tonne of other kids recently imprisoned and cooly dispatched all the bad guys in a super-duper array of slow motion bullet hits and explosions. Its a serious film but at the same time its also a cheesy action flick. I could mention many things such as the fact none of the kids get injured at all during the main escape despite bullets, shrapnel and debris raining down on them constantly, but I won't. Of course, as you may expect, this being a Chuck flick there must be some douche bag US officials trying to stop his mission for political reasons so he can come across all rebellious and righteous. Well that box is totally checked. In short (yes I know this hasn't been short) the film is great fun in a tame Rambo type of way...but I'm sure you all expected that. Its Chuck at his best killing the bad guys, being heroic and morally right in every way...hell its like watching 'Mary Poppins' with an assault rifle. Much more visually impressive and exciting than the first film, not as serious and bleak as the second. It starts off seriously but soon descends into that familiar hokey action packed scenario where Chuck goes around snapping necks without breaking sweat. God Bless the Stars n Stripes emblazoned across Chuck's chest.
After the disappointing prequel which was Missing in Action 2, Chuck Norris took the reins of this second sequel by co-writing it and even getting his brother Aarron Norris to direct. The result was surprisingly good and far better than any sequel should be with Norris writing and a stuntman directing. The film opens in Saigon and the continuity errors are blatant right away (more on that later). We have Braddock in Saigon moments before it falls to North Vietnam and American forces are pulling out. In the midst of the chaos, Norris's Vietnamese wife loses her papers on her way to the American embassy and is not allowed to leave. Norris, thinking she's dead, evacuates with rest of the troops. Years later Norris is approached by a priest saying that his wife and child are alive. Norris, disbelieving at first, eventually comes to believe and good MIA fashion heads back to Vietnam to rescue his wife and son with the aid of an old war buddy. Of course it isn't going to be easy as they are held captive by a sadist general who takes great glee in torturing Vietnamese-American half-breed children. The opening of the film is the highlight as even with a lower budget (compared to the first two films), the production values are just fantastic and it really looks like the fall of Saigon (look for the great Keith David as a gate guard). The character of Braddock does lack some of the psychotic edge of his character in the previous films but Norris is still likeable as ever in his typical nice tough guy mode. Aki Aleong is also terrific as our sadistic general but they do have his character yell "Braddock" just a little too often. I will hand it to these Missing in Action sequels as they do get great actors to make truly unlikeable antagonists. Ron Barker makes a rather blah carbon copy of Braddock's war buddy M. Emmet Walsh from the first film and there are a few wince away bad lines like "I don't step on toes, I step on necks", but these are just minor hindrances. The main aspect that rattles my cage a bit with this sequel is for its complete lack of continuity to the first two films. It is very obviously said in those films that Braddock was in a POW camp and didn't even know the war had ended. Here for some damn reason he is in Saigon during the end of the war and it doesn't even seem like he ever spent time in a POW camp. There must be two Braddocks! The second film also mentions that Braddock has a wife back in the states but in this film he is married to a Vietnamese woman. What?! Did they think fans wouldn't notice these blatant disregards to continuity and plot points? Continuity problems aside, I actually was flabbergasted by this sequel and it came out MUCH better than I was ever expecting. I would even rank this entry a hair better than the first film but I do seem to be in the minority as this sequel is rarely talked about. For a lower budgeted sequel I was really impressed with the production design and I also dug how the film was more emotionally driven. I can't believe this sequel isn't held in higher regard when it comes to the fans. Bonus Rant: The title is no doubt a take on the title Rambo: First Blood Part II in order to make the character Braddock a household name when it comes to action heroes. What's next? "Braddock IV" and then simply "Braddock"?
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