27 July 2009

Braddock: Missing In Action 3

Chuck extends his disdain for Asians beyond adults and applies it to their offspring in this VHS cover from the compulsive VHS fiend Scandy Factory

United States - 1988
Director – Aaron Norris
Media Home Entertainment, 1988, VHS
Run time - 1 hour, 41 min.

I know you've been jonesing for the conclusion of this epic series just to get it over with, so here it is. Aaron Norris' first feature film after years of serving as Chuck's stunt double/stunt coordinator. No surprise that MIA3 once again stars his older brother, a partnership that has lasted with almost mutual exclusivity until the present. Hell, I'll say it, they're married. On top of that, as if it could get any more grotesquely fraternal, Chuck co-wrote the script.

Disregard the timeline and events of the first two movies, and MIA 3 quickly makes sense. Braddock is a random Colonel in Saigon during the withdrawal of '75. His Vietnamese wife gets lost in the crowds of refugees and just as he arrives he sees her friend get incinerated, and thinks it's her. Years later a priest working in Vietnam (Yehuda Efroni from Delta Force) visits the US and informs a "bitter, distant vet" Braddock that his wife and child are alive, and not well in Nam. An immovable Braddock scoffs. Seconds later he is harassed by the CIA who confirm the rumor of his wife but warn him not to step on their toes.

"I don't step on toes. I step on necks."

Flash to Bangkok. Outside a bar in a Thai cop-car Braddock's fake, highly irritating Australian friend is waiting, and together they have a car chase with the Bangkok police. Flying to Vietnam minutes later, Braddock pushes his tiny jet boat out the back of the plane and jumps after it. After landing he equips himself with a massive unwieldy boom-stick but no extra ammo. After a touching reunion with his family they are all captured by another evil Vietnamese. The wife is killed outright and Braddock and the son taken to prison camp where Braddock endures some creative tortures administered by an eager General Quoc. After predictably resisting, he is escorted back to his cell where, due to ineffectiveness of evil lackeys,, he escapes, and conducts string of explosive narrow-escapes.

A disturbing scene is inserted here of a guy attempting to rape a young girl as the camera cuts back and forth from her tearful dirty face to his sweaty mustachioed balding face - then to Braddock's vengeful kick to the face! Now, Braddock flees with all the children in tow, sniffing the air for signs of trouble.

To keep the poor weak children from having to walk, Braddock steals another damned plane, and as it takes off lumbering along, the Vietnamese military, suddenly the epitome of ridicule, is unable to hit a moving object with sheets of gunfire. Inexplicably, not due to said gunfire, an engine quits, and the plane goes down, forcing the children, who all survive the crash, to walk anyway. Pointless plot device inserted for no other reason than to shallowly epitomize lead character's impossible invincibility.

At the last moment, a few feet from the border, Braddock expresses a single heartfelt sentence to his son Van; "You're everything I wanted in a son."
And mid reply: "You're everything I wanted in…" Braddock gets up machine gun in hand and walks away to go kill more people.
If I wasn't alone, I'd try and choke something to death to prove to someone how fucking brutal this movie is making me feel right now. YES! Bring it! Oh, it's been broughten.

UK VHS cover above and this trailer for MIA 3 from the epically resourceful Cannon Films Archive YouTube channel.

No comments: