Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)

Action, Drama, Thriller
Chuck Norris, Soon-Tek Oh, Steven Williams, Bennett Ohta
Prequel to the first Missing In Action, set in the early 1980s it shows the capture of Colonel Braddock during the Vietnam war in the 1970s, and his captivity with other American POWs in a brutal prison camp, and his plans to escape.
  • MGM Home Entertainment Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 01 Mar 1985 Released:
  • 05 Jun 2012 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Steve Bing, Larry Levinson, Arthur Silver Writer:
  • Lance Hool Director:
  • N/A Website:

Trailer:

Chuck Norris takes over Vietnam, part 28/10
The opening scene of this movie shows Chuck Norris getting shot down in a helicopter while sporting a mustache, but no beard. He is then captured and taken to a prison camp. Little do his captors realize that the more facial hair Chuck Norris develops, the stronger he becomes.

Many people are of the opinion that this is inferior to the first movie, including the producers, who filmed the two back-to-back and decided to release this one later. I have to strongly disagree. While the first one was more like a Blake Edwards comedy than an action movie, this one shows off some surprisingly brutal torture scenes and a general air of nastiness, all for the better when Chuck decides to take matters into his own hands. I am not in a position to say whether the Vietnamese are really the demonic beings they appear to be in this movie, but after enough scenes of Colonel Yin's cruelty, the only political opinion the average viewer can hold is that Chuck needs to beat the sh*t out of this guy. Chuck indeed appears to be genuinely disturbed throughout the thing, to the point where you want to take him aside and tell him that it's just a movie. Watch carefully his face in the scene where he jumps out of the treetops in order to knife two soldiers--it is not the face of an actor. It is the face of a madman. It is a face of murderous rage. He really intends to kill these people. Whether or not this is a good thing is for you to decide, but it is certainly impressive. The jungle action as Chuck goes psycho is undeniably good, and a lot of work has been put into making sure the characters are as dirty and sweaty and bloody as possible, making the whole viewing a wonderful experience.

You may notice the soundtrack is done by Brian May--not the Queen Brian May, but the Brian May who wrote the music for the first "Mad Max." This is only the second soundtrack I have encountered by the man, and his music has definitely not improved--it is as blustery and overblown and inappropriate for the specific scenes as it was in "Mad Max." The only downside to an otherwise sublime movie.
An excellent post-Vietnam war movie10/10

Although many people will disagree with me, I enjoy watching this movie. While the acting may not be top-notch, the plot and setting give the impression that you are actually a member of a POW camp and must struggle along with Colonel Braddock (Chuck Norris) to escape. Following Braddock's plight as a prisoner, the death of his comrades, and his final showdown with Colonel Yin (Soon Tek Oh), the movie nicely builds up to its climax and leaves the viewer with a sense of finality that many movies tend to lack in their endings. This prequel is definitely the best in the MIA trilogy and I
recommend it for viewing.
One of Norris' best films5/10

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

1985 was a top year for Chuck Norris,with Invasion USA and this immensely enjoyable actioner coming out.Following on from the disappointing,slow moving original,this charts his highly involving experiences in a Vietnamise POW camp,and his eventual escape.A lot of depth is invested into the characters,which fully envelops at the end when Norris faces off against Soon Tech Oh.Given that the films were created by Chuck as a tribute to his brother Wieland who was killed in Vietnam,it's not really so surprising in hindsight to notice the extra invested energy and emotion he displays in these films.And all the better for it.****
Prequel about Vietnam prison camps with the incomparable Norris' Colonel Braddock as liberator6/10
The picture focuses Colonel Braddock (Chuck Norris) aboard a helicopter which's down . He's imprisoned united to various Vietnam soldiers (Steven Williams , John Wesley..) by a hideous and sadist POW camp chief (Soon Teck Oh) and underlings (professor Tanaka..) . The tough Braddock attempts continuously to free the prisoners held captives and they receive numerous tortures and sufferings at charge of the concentration camp wardens and their evil ruler .

The screenplay of the movie is plain and simple . It deals upon horrible conditions of prisoners and grueling efforts of the meager band of captives to survive , confronting starvation , mistreats , rampage and continuous violence with hitting , punches , lashes , knocks and incredible tortures . Storyline is a bit ridiculous , embarrassing and shallow , it concerns on prisoners trying to escape and subsequent revenge executed by Braddock as a headstrong and reckless Colonel . Filmed back to back with Mising in action (1984), this film was supposed to be released first . However , when the producers realized the second film was the better of the two, they released it first and named this film a prequel . It's a predictable routine and formula actioner film . It's all obvious , unconvincing and overblown . However if you appealed the first part , you'll probably love this picture . In the wake of : ¨Uncommon valor¨ (directed by Ted Kocheff) and ¨Rambo II¨ (by George Pan Cosmatos) and Norris imitating to Silvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger as one army man , shooting and killing numerous enemies . The movie belongs to a trilogy , in the first Braddock only frees prisoners , in the third film he looks for his disappeared wife after Saigon downfall . The three films contain ominous and villain enemies played by oriental actors (James Hong, Soon Teck Oh , Aki Aelong) with offensive racial stereotypes . Fine support cast formed by Steven Williams (TV L.A.Heat ) and Professor Tanaka (a wrestler who possessed incredible strength) who was arguably the successor to Harald Sakata( Golfinger) as the archetypal Asian henchman . The motion picture was middlingly directed by Lance Hill , also producer . Rating : Average but entertaining .
Did we really need a prequel to this series? The answer is yes, we did8/10
This movie has no use for a plot and it makes no apologies about it. The closest the entire film comes to forming a plot is when the words "Geneva Convention" are randomly thrown out by Chuck Norris in the first couple minutes. Luckily Colonel Yin quickly shoots down the idea that the real world has any bearing on the movie's setting and we're off to the races- Jungle style.

***there may be spoilers****

The beginning of the movie shows all of the members of Norris' crew being captured and declared Missing In Action (hence the title). From that point on the movie is set ten years later where we find the men still being held hostage and all but forgotten.

For some reason the prisoners just don't seem like they have been there ten years though. In the opening prison camp scene one of the prisoners is complaining how he can't sleep and explains that every time he closes his eyes he sees his wife GINA! If he had been there ten years wouldn't he have established at some point that his wife is named Gina? Couldn't he just say "when I close my eyes I see my WIFE!"? Well either way, the story is they've been there ten years so we'll go with that. Why they have been held hostage in a remote Vietnamese torture camp for ten years without being killed makes no sense although there is a faint attempt to explain it for the sake of giving the men a reason to be there, the colonel a reason to torture them, and the film a reason to exist.

The reason Norris and his men are being held, you ask? Apparently the Vietnamese colonel is a very prideful man (although he's not above sentencing himself to live in a jungle prison camp for ten years in order to monitor it and ensure that nobody escapes) and he requires that Norris sign a document stating that the Americans have committed war crimes against the Vietnamese and accept their guilt. The fact that this is the entire reason these men have been held in the camp for TEN YEARS is completely ridiculous. We are to believe that Norris is such a dedicated soldier that he refuses to sign the document even though he could simply sign it, go home, eat a pizza, get some reinforcements, and go back to finish off the remaining Vietnamese and any record of what he signed.

Because Norris refuses to sign the document the vengeful, yet oddly patient, Colenel Yin keeps him there and occasionally tortures him now and then for good measure. Apparently Colonel Yin has no problem imprisoning, degrading, and killing human beings, but he draws the line at forging someones signature.

The movie does provide some of the best jungle action pre Arnold Schwarzenegger's Predator however. There are some good fight scenes with many two and even three hit combos dealt out by Norris. Throughout the movie the Colonel always has the upper hand and uses the line "you lose" every time he foils Norris. With a one liner as great as that there's little doubt that it will be used against him once Norris turns the tables by the end of the movie. And in the jungle Norris doesn't disappoint.

By far the best part of the movie is the end when Norris gets his mitts on a cache of Columbian firearms/explosives and comes back to the camp for sweet revenge.

And the most hilarious part of the movie is the fact that the only escape from the jungle camp is by crossing a very long wooden bridge over a huge ravine and this wooden bridge is guarded by a guy who's only weapon is a flamethrower. Stop and think about that. Instead of a machine gun, they give the guy guarding the WOODEN bridge a flamethrower to defend himself. So does that mean every time someone tries to escape he shoots at them with the flamethrower, the bridge burns down, and he has to rebuild it the next day to go back to the camp?

In the final scene Norris gets his revenge and beats down the colonel like an arcade wizard using cheat codes at the Mortal Kombat machine. Like I said before, the phrase "you lose" is conveniently dropped right before the death blow is administered. What more can you ask for in a movie that gave the entire premise away with the title?