As discussed in my Invasion U.S.A. review, Chuck Norris has become an icon of 80s action movies. He was always a lower budget alternative to the big studio boys like Stallone and Schwarzenegger but has gained an enormous cult following over the years and has definitely earned that status. One of his most beloved series of films were the Missing in Action films, a series that started a couple years after First Blood but took the action back to Vietnam a year before the blockbuster Stallone sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II would. Missing in Action spawned two sequels, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning and Braddock: Missing in Action III, which debuts this month on Blu-ray.
Braddock: Missing in Action III follows hero Colonel James Braddock (Norris) as he returns to Vietnam once again to find his wife whom he had though died in an explosion 12 years before. But when he finds out he also has a 12-year-old son his mission becomes more complicated as he tries to save them and a band of Amerasian children from a tyrannical officer.
Chuck Norris will never win an award for acting but he does have great screen presence and a wonderful stoic heroism about him that has made him the star he is. Braddock: Missing in Action III is arguably the best film of the series with more elaborate fight scenes, more hand to hand combat instead of all gun fights and an underlying touching story of Braddock actually fighting for family this time. This film was actually the directing debut of Chuck’s younger brother Aaron Norris, who would go on to direct many more Chuck films and TV shows and he does a good job here. The pacing is good and the action sequences are well staged. Braddock: Missing in Action III is a fun action movie and a solid Chuck Norris entry well worth checking out. And as with the new Invasion U.S.A. Blu-ray, the transfer is pretty impressive for a lower budget 80s action flick. Recommended.