This blog post is part of the tremendeous #84athon hosted by Todd over at Forgotten Filmz.
I have vague memories of seeing Missing in Action as a kid. However, when revisiting it now I realized that I probably saw the sequel/prequel instead of this film. My main general impression was meehish. It felt lika a lowbudget version of First Blood Part 2 (released a year later) without focusing to much on the break-out part of the film. The film is not good enough to surprise you and its not bad enough for entertainments sake. It just feels bland.
I’m not super versed in the Chuck Norris filmography but to me he always plays the same kind of low key hero with very little dialogue. The plot of the film is that Norris character is brought back to Vietnam for a vague investigation about missing american POWs in Vietnam. Chuck is the living proof of such thing since we in the beginning of the film get a flashback from when he escaped a similiar prison camp himself.
As I understand it Missing in Action 1 and 2 was shot back to back and they were originally intended to be distributed chronologically but they switched the order around when they felt that the sequel was the better film. So I assume the opening flashback scene is from the ending of Missing in Action 2.
I find it strange that the film isn’t more to the point since the POW conflict is spelled out in the opening scenes. It feels like the film would have benefitted from a more straight on storytelling than having s much be based on build-up which I like in many cases. As for the story sctructure the ending felt pretty anticlicmatic since the final break-out take up pretty little screen time. I was actually worried for a while that it was gonna be omitted in the film.
To me the highlight of the film was Chucks undercover mission during the night in the beginning of the film where he obtained the information about the prison camp. That entire lenghty scene had tension and was filmed and edited just right.
With that said I still gonna re-visit the sequel/prequel since I have a gut feeling its structured a lot more like First Blood Part 2 which is a film I enjoy quite a bit. Make sure to follow the rest of the #84athon that is going on throughout August!
Lately I’ve come to a realization that I have a very strong emotional connection to the movie watching experience. This post will mostly be about my crying (I’m also an avid loud-laugher, awkward when enjoying a great over-the-top murder scene in a packed cinema, but more on that in a future post) and what I think triggers those emotions in me. Now I’m not a total cry baby I’ve got two (I believe) crying modes and I’m gonna try to explain them here in an attempt to answer the question how I literally cried myself through the entire feature film Tracks at the cinema. Continue reading
Also beware of spoilers for Days of Future Past (both comic book and film) after the jump.
The comic book version of Days of Future Past was originally released 1981 in Uncanny X-men 141-142. In Sweden it was released through a Marvel Special called Marvels Universe (it featured different Marvel Characters in every issue) in April 1987. I was nine years old and I still remember seeing the haunting artwork for the first time and how it called for me to get my hands on it.
Even before Days of Future Past comics had been a huge part of my life. It had mainly evolved around the Swedish Donald Duck magazine or the Swedish army comic 91:an (very Beetle Bailey:esque comic book).
Around 1987 I’d been starting to read the Amazing Spiderman and it had opened up my eyes to a completely new way of storytelling. It was more mature and used a challenging narrative through subplots that were referenced for years without resolution.
With that as a background Days of Future Past still blew me away.
I’m a huge fanboy of the Spiderman comics from childhood. In a sense I think I was introduced to complex(er) storytelling from reading it and other Marvel Comics. With that said as a brief intro for my love of the character of Spiderman/Peter Parker I’m sad to admit that I’ve given up on this franchise ages ago.
I did enjoy the Raimi films (especially the second one) but they never elevated to the levels of the comic books. The re-boot of the franchise was the first one I didn’t see in the cinema and its safe to say I won’t be going to this one either.
There’s so much in this that I don’t like. The main thing is probably the casting! Sorry but I’m gonna go total crazy fanboy now! I hate Andrew Garfield as Parker/Spiderman!!!! One of the things Raimi did well was casting Tobey, he played the character as I read him in the comics. I don’t get attached to Garfield at all. As I see it he gives Daniel Craig a serious run for his money to be considered the most dull and uncharismatic actor working today.
It might be something personal though, because I get all aggrevated by his smug smile when Emma Stone asks him if his delay might have to do with the shoot-out seen seconds earlier in the trailer.
As for the rest of the cast I think they are totally off too. Jamie Foxx looks like he ran of a secret “Watchmen re-boot” set onto the wrong shoot. The problem with him hopefully lies mostly in costume and make-up since he is a great actor (can someone please green-light a Any Given Sunday sequel????). Never really cared for Electro though so thats something of a bum choice as well.
Finally I still think Sally Fields looks way too young to play Aunt May and she hasn’t white hair!!!! What the hell happened Marc didn’t you get the memo from Stan???
As for the content of the trailer its just so uninteresting. Damn someone really screwed up this one.
Its good when a trailer doesn’t spoil but this one manages to reveal plenty and still don’t give a good sense of what the film gonna be about. Normally its not a problem with this type of franchise (or James Bond to mention another example) but then you are relying on sequences or shots being spectacular. Unfortunately this trailer doesn’t have anything with those qualities. I guess one reason might be that a lot of the effects work isn’t finished (I believe I read that somewhere) so they can’t show off that stuff.
I’m not a trailer editor myself but I really feel like someone just phoned it in on this one. It might be that the material sucks and this is what they are stuck with for now. Normally I’d recommend that they would have released a vague teaser instead but that doesn’t sell any tickets when it comes to sequels so I guess they didn’t have that much of a choice.