Sunday Cinema – “Missing in Action 2”

I remember spending every other weekend at my father’s apartment growing up. He’d pick me up on Friday after work and we would usually head to a pizza joint to pick up a pie and then to the local video store to stock up on movies to watch over the weekend. And it wasn’t a chain video store, it was a “mom & pop” type that was covered in promo posters & gimmicks, and it had a smell. A smell of old plastic & cellophane. Today’s selection brought back a lot of memories for me, I remember watching this movie a few times with my father…

“Missing In Action 2: The Beginning” is one of those rare movies that ended up being better than the first and a whole lot better than the next film in a series. The beginning of the film finds Colonel James Braddock on a sortie mission to Cambodia in 1972 towards the downfall of the Vietnam war. The Colonel’s helicopter is shot down and as each passenger drops to safety, we are treated to their name, rank, & a red status stamp. The final occupant is the Colonel and his outcome is…

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A short history lesson ensues speaking of those that fought in the war in Vietnam finally getting a parade, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier receiving one of the war dead, & an explanation that there are many fighting men & women that are still unaccounted for and presumed living in prisoner of war camps in Vietnam & surrounding countries. Colonel Braddock & his flight crew ended up in one such camp. The camp is run by a megalomaniacal tyrant, Colonel Yin:

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He is enraged at being unable to break Colonel Braddock into confessing his so-called “war crimes” that it has driven him to madness. From “mock trials” & “executions” to taunts of letters from loved ones, Colonel Yin still cannot seem to break Braddock’s spirit. One of the original flight crew, Captain Nester, almost immediately confessed to his “crimes” and was granted freedom to live in the camp with many of the meager luxuries it could afford. Considered a traitor by the rest of the crew, Nester does his best to undermine them with gifts and promises himself:

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A “snoop” is discovered outside of camp taking photos & claims to be with a governmental task force looking into the possibility of prisoner of war camps in Southeast Asia:

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The snoop is found out to be nothing more than a journalist looking for a story and is promptly executed. This scenario brings Colonel Yin into deeper madness at which Braddock makes his escape from camp:

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Being a man of his word, he mounts an assault to rescue his fellow prisoners with lots of action and makes you jump up and down rooting for him as he dispatches his captors. The movie’s final battle is between the two Colonels, a battle you’ve been hoping would happen during the whole movie:

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The ending does not disappoint. It has seen a brief DVD release (being packaged with “Braddock: Missing in Action III”, but has since been removed from circulation.

You can watch this incredible movie on YouTube and bask in the glory that is Colonel James Braddock, American Hero…

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