In the decade of action films, the Missing In Action series is a trilogy of action films (one a prequel and the other a sequel) starring Chuck Norris playing the role of Colonel James Braddock, a Vietnam vet.Not to be confused with Never Found the Body, the actual missing-in-action trope.
These films provide examples of:
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- Badass Beard: Braddock.
- Beard of Evil: General Trau's aide, the NVA officer who tortures Braddock in MIA 1 and General Quoc in MIA 3.
- Big Bad: General Trau in MIA 1, Colonel Yin in MIA 2, and General Quoc in MIA 3.
- California Doubling: Vietnam was played by the Philippines in the first (which was actually the second - see Sequel First) and third films, and by Mexico and the Caribbean (specifically St. Kitt's) for the second/first.
- Colonel Badass: Guess who.
- Dirty Communists: The Vietnamese.
- Dynamic Entry: Braddock does a magnificent case in one of the films, as he flies down from a tree.
- Every Helicopter Is a Huey: So much that even the PAVN and French drug dealers use them. Averted in the third film.
- More Dakka
- Rated M for Manly: And. How.
- Recycled In Space: Rambo: First Blood Part II WITH CHUCK NORRIS!
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Braddock.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Title Drop: Several times in MIA 1 and 2.
Missing in Action
- Action Prologue: The film begins with a Dream Sequence where Braddock relives his experiences in Vietnam.
- Blatant Lies: General Trau declaring there were no American POWs left in Vietnam. If he were telling the truth, there would be no film.
- Disc One Final Boss: General Trau was killed 35 minutes into the film. From then on he is replaced by an unnamed general.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Braddock hooks up with an old army buddy in Thailand, leading to plenty of gratuituous fanservice involving totally naked bar girls. One notable scene has Braddock talking to a bartender; as he walks offscreen a beautiful naked Thai girl is placed on the bar for no apparent reason (security for a bar tab?).
- Jumping on a Grenade: Braddock is so Bad Ass he jumps holding a couple of grenades, surviving the subsequent explosion without loss of limbs.
- Note:It was just a nightmare Braddock had, not an actual event.
- Never Found the Body: The POWs who were declared MIA.
- Non-Action Big Bad: General Trau is the only villain in the series who doesn't fight Braddock.
- You Shall Not Pass: Tuck takes over the gunboat when its previous owner was killed by a patrol boat. The outcome is exactly as one might expect.
Missing in Action 2: The Beginning
- And This Is For...: Happens at the end in which Braddock puts the beatdown on Colonel Yin for killing Lester (with a slight neck snap) and Frankie (belly punch and grabbing his stomach). And finally finishes him off by detonating a bomb in the cabin, blowing him up. "And this is for me."
- All Asians Know Martial Arts: Colonel Yin.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Happens to Francois in MIA 2. He is killed by Yin so the latter could take over the former's cartel.Yin: They needed a new leader after they heard that you had died.
- French Jerk: Francois.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Despite working together, it's clear that both Colonel Yin and Francois doesn't get along well. This ultimately ends with the latter getting killed by the former.
- You No Take Candle: Dou Chou.
Braddock: Missing in Action 3
- Attempted Rape: A Viet Cong soldier tries to rape one of the orphan girls held hostage. Since Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, Braddock dispatches him in the most awesome way possible.
- Badass Boast:Braddock: I don't step on toes, Littlejohn. I step on necks.
- Crapsack World: As seen in the film's prologue, Saigon during the Fall wasn't the happiest of places.
- Damsel in Distress: Braddock's wife, Lin.
- Evil Laugh: General Quoc.
- General Ripper: General Quoc.
- Kick the Dog: General Quoc, again. He takes Reverend Polaski's mission hostage in an attempt to trap Braddock.
- Just Plane Wrong: The Hind gunship used by Quoc is actually a Sikorsky S-62 that was never used by the PAVN. The American gunship in the movie is also a Sikorsky S-76A instead of an Apache or a Cobra.
- Recycled Soundtrack: While Jay Chattaway did write an original score for this one, the movie also reused music composed for previous Cannon productionsnote (including Chattaway's scores for the first movie and Invasion USA (1985)).
- Series Continuity Error: Braddock managed to witness the fall of Saigon while being imprisoned.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Averted. Ron Bloom's song, "Freedom Again," is used appropriately.