BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Chuck Norris as COL. JAMES BRADDOCK
Aki Aleong as GEN QUOC
Roland Harrah III as VAN TAN CANG
Miki Kim as LIN TANG CAN
Yehuda Efroni as REV. POLANSKI
Ron Barker as MIK
Floyd Levine as GEN DUNCAN
Jack Rader as LITTLEJOHN
Melinda Betron as THUY
Studio: Shout Factory
Directed by: Aaron Norris
BY KEVIN CARR
Coinciding with ShoutFactory!’s Blu-ray release of the Chuck Norris classic “Invasion U.S.A.,” a lesser-known and lower-quality film from his vault gets a release as well. “Braddock: Missing in Action III” is the third “Missing in Action” movie, but it’s really only the first sequel as “Missing in Action II” was a prequel.
In this film, we flash back to Col. James Braddock’s (Norris) last days in Vietnam. He believes his wife Lin Tang Can (Miki Kim) is killed before he can get her out of the country, and he leaves the jungle behind. However, her death is a case of mistaken identity, and years later, he learns that she is still alive. More over, he learns that she gave birth to a child Van Tan Cang (Roland Harrah III), Braddock’s son. Braddock dives back into Vietnam to try to save his boy and bring him – and other wayward children – home.
By the time “Braddock: Missing in Action III” was made, the great legacy of Cannon films had faded a bit. The glory days were over, and the impending withering of the studio was starting to happen. While “Braddock: Missing in Action III” is still fun to watch for the glorified Chuck Norris action reel quality, it’s not nearly as entertaining as his other glory day films like “The Octagon” or “Invasion U.S.A.”
The Vietnam movies in Norris’ filmography are ones he holds dear for personal reasons, and there’s still a clear attempt to honor the MIA/POW issue. It took John Rambo longer to get on the “bring the children home” bandwagon, so in a way, “Braddock: Missing in Action III” is a little ahead of its time.
Unlike its co-release of “Invasion U.S.A.,” “Braddock: Missing in Action III” is a little weaker simply because it tries too much to be an issue-driven more than just a silly action film. That’s not to say that “Invasion U.S.A.” wasn’t trying to make a point. It certainly was, in the most jingoistic way possible. However, “Braddock: Missing in Action III” was more of a personal and tender story, punctuated with badass Chuck Norris action. While that seems like it could go together, this leads the movie to be at odds with itself at times.
Still, I enjoyed watching “Braddock: Missing in Action III.” It even gets an extra half-star for having the greatest Chuck Norris line ever: “I don’t step on toes, Littlejohn. I step on necks!”
The “Braddock: Missing in Action III” Blu-ray comes clear of special features, aside from the theatrical trailer. This is a little disappointing considering how flush “Invasion U.S.A.” was with bonus content for such a somewhat forgotten library release. So all you get is the movie here, but it’s worth picking up to fill your Chuck Norris action shelf, or at the very least your “Missing in Action” Blu-ray collection.