A Movie A Day #137: Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988, directed by Aaron Norris)


Chuck Fucking Norris, dude.  Chuck Norris is so cool that continuity bends to his will and thanks him for the opportunity.

Need proof?

Just watch Braddock: Missing in Action III.

The third Missing in Action film starts in 1975, with the fall of Saigon.  The communists are taking over.  The Americans are fleeing Vietnam.  Colonel James Braddock (Chuck FUCKING Norris) is determined to bring his Vietnamese wife to America with him but, when she loses her papers and is not allowed to make her way to the American embassy, Braddock believes that she had been killed. (Keep an eye out for Keith David as the Embassy guard.  Only Chuck Norris could overshadow Keith David in a movie.)  Heartbroken, Braddock returns to the United States.

Every fan of the Missing in Action franchise knows better.  We all know that Chuck was in a POW camp when Saigon fell.  In Missing in Action 2, he and his fellow prisoners did not even know if the war had ended.  Also, Chuck mentioned having a wife waiting for him back in the United States.  What gives?

I can think of only two possible explanations.

Either Chuck Norris and Cannon Films did not care about continuity

or

Chuck Norris is so cool that, in order to prevent his collected coolness from knocking the Earth off of its axis, the U.S. Army split Chuck’s coolness in half by creating a clone.  One clone spent ten years in a POW camp.  The other clone escaped during the Fall of Saigon but had to leave behind his wife.

Thirteen years later and back in the U.S., Chuck is contacted by Reverend Polanski (Yehuda Efroni), who tells him that his wife is still alive in Vietnam and that he has a 12 year-old son.  Chuck’s boss at the CIA tells him that, under no circumstances, is Chuck to go to Vietnam.

Anyone who thinks they can tell Chuck Norris what do is a fool.

Chuck goes to Vietnam and is reunited with his wife and son.  Unfortunately, when Chuck tries to get his new family out of the country, they are captured by sadistic General Quoc (Aki Aleong).  Again, Braddock must escape from a Vietnamese prison camp.

Braddock: Missing in Action III was co-written by Chuck Norris and it was directed by his brother, Aaron.  It’s a Norris production all the way, which means a lot of heroic shots of Chuck and a lot of bad guys wondering why Chuck is so much better than them.

Braddock was released four years after the first Missing in Action but, more importantly, it was released two years after Oliver Stone’s Platoon changed the way that movies dealt with the war in Vietnam.  By the time that Braddock came out, films in which lone American refought and single-handedly won the war were no longer in fashion.  Braddock was a flop at the box office and it ended the franchise.  However, continuity errors aside, Braddock is actually the best of the Missing in Action films.  It features Chuck’s best performance in the series and Chuck searching for his wife and child gives Braddock more emotional weight than the first two Missing in Action films. Maybe Chuck should have co-written and selected the director for all of the films he made for Cannon.

Chuck Norris, dude.

Chuck Fucking Norris.

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