Goddamn, dude. Chuck Fucking Norris. Even when the movie is terrible, Chuck is cool.
That is especially relevant when it comes to a movie like Missing In Action 2: The Beginning. Produced by Cannon Films and shot back-to-back with the first Missing in Action, The Beginning was supposed to come out first. However, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus took a look at the two movies and realized that The Beginning would work better as the 2nd film in the series. They were right though some post-production tinkering did lead to some serious errors in continuity.
(Not that anyone watching a Golan/Globus production would be worrying about continuity.)
Did you ever wonder how James Braddock (Chuck Norris) became a POW in the first place? No? Missing In Action 2 is going to show you how it happened anyway. It turns out that he and his men were captured, in 1972, by the Viet Cong when their helicopter crashed into a lake. At the start of the movie, Chuck only has a mustache. If Chuck had been fully bearded, there is no way the VC could have captured him. After Chuck and his men have spent ten years in a jungle prison, where they are forced to pick poppies for a French heroin drug lord, Chuck has grown a full beard and is finally strong enough to escape from the prison, rescue his men, and defeat the sadistic camp commandant (Soon-Tek Oh) in hand-to-hand combat. None of it is surprising but there’s enough weird stuff, like the prostitutes that the French drug dealer flies into the camp and the Australian journalist who shows up out of nowhere and is executed ten minutes later, to keep it interesting. Chuck is as stiff as always but he’s good in the action scenes and gets to show off some sweet karate moves towards the end of the movie. Supposedly, Chuck viewed the Missing in Action films as a tribute to his brother, Wieland, who was killed in Vietnam.
The continuity error has to do with the amount of time that Braddock and his men spend in the camp. After Chuck is captured in 1972, the film inserts some footage of Ronald Reagan giving a speech about the men who never returned from Vietnam. A narrator says that the Americans are still wondering what happened to the thousands of soldiers who were reported as being MIA in Vietnam. The implication is that Chuck and company spent ten years in the POW Camp, which means that they escaped in 1982. Since it is said, in Missing in Action, that it has been ten years since Chuck escaped, that means that Missing in Action actually took place in 1992. But if Chuck and the boys escaped and returned to America in 1982 then why, in 1992, was everyone so convinced that all the POWs were released immediately after the Vietnam War?
Fortunately, Chuck Norris is so cool that it doesn’t matter what year it is.
Chuck Norris, man.
Chuck Fucking Norris.