Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1985)
Two to miss:
Missing In Action
by Eleanor M alin
Presuming, gentle reader, that you are one
o f the sensitive, literate, politically aware re
spondents to the J u s t O u t demographics
survey, you m ust be wondering why anyone
w ould go see, m uch less review two dum b
movies like this. I’m doing this for your own
good. There’s another whole world out there,
and you should know about it.
In Missing In Action, Chuck Morris plays a
Vietnam veteran and form er P.O.W. who goes
back to Vietnam, is accused of war crim e by
Vietnamese he had helped earlier, and de
cides to go after the MIA's he thinks are still
Supergirl portrays Superm an’s teen
cousin, on a mission to earth via inner space.
She zips to earth from underwater, having
made m ost o f the trip via space vehicle
through a lovely light show, modestly avert
ing her eyes. She is tracking a power source
vital to her small com m unity because her city
will be destroyed without it
Both movies display more similarities than
differences. Missions involving social justice
form the main plot formations. Costumes
and gadgetry are im portant in both movies.
Supergirl, of course, appears in the female
version of the low profile — Clark Kent is a
m ild-m annered reporter in a gray suit —
Linda Lee is a g irl’s school student in a
dowdy, pleated uniform , with hair changing
fro m blonde to brown . How wren-like. Faye
Dunaway, as the archvillainess, and Brenda
Vaccaro, as her sidekick, get to wear great
costumes. The power object is just a revolv
ing black and white spiral glass paperweight,
pretty, but not very impressive.
C huck Morris gets the costumes of a ninja,
camouflage uniform, tweed jacket with suede
patches, and muscle shirts. Mot as flashy, but
equally definitive of some popular young
male role models as Supergirl' s clear-cut,
In Missing In Action, the story zips right
along. We know the hero is our kind of
m acho guy as we see him smashing his TV
set in frustration, being rude to everyone, and
brusquely rejecting a glass so as to suck his
beer out of a bottle. He approaches his m is
sion with single-minded dedication. Since his
m ission is One of mercy, and he will be saving
his pals, he takes this opportunity to kill all the
Vietnamese in his pathway.
The fight scenes are brief, am ounting to
Morris vanquishing a series of small, inferior
people, who are unable to neutralize him.
even with the element of surprise on their
Morris movie, since his karate is so m uch bet-
don't see how it’s done. They just disappear,
always hopes for good martial arts in a Chuck
Morris movie, since his karte is so m uch bet
ter than his acting.
Gadgetry featured consists of heavy-hard
ware booby traps, guns of devastating killing
power and a well-tricked out, bullet-proof
Both movies depict all kinds of violence,
but in Supergirl, it’s not messy, whereas in
Missing In Action, you feel like you should
have brought a m op and pail. Many (too
m any for me) closeups and shots from every
angle of men in hand-to-hand com bat and
bondage-and-discipline situations are used.
In Supergirl, the two villainous women are
done in, but it’s by a monster — the materiali
zation o f Faye Dunaway's own greed, and we
d o n ’t see how it's done. They just disappear
E H C T C G E A G E iy
show, the usual good special effects. Mo one
will fault you. though, for passing up these
l ? c r t E € i i t \ V B i l l «1 1 l i n t s
U S S . H . V m l A v e n u e
J J J-
1 1 »4
In the action-packed clim ax in Supergirl,
the heroine gets advice from her paramour
(Hart Bochner), and her math teacher (Peter
Cook). Did this m agnificently endowed
young superperson require their assistance
fro m lack of experience, or was she just trying
to make these guys feel good?
In the action-packed clim ax of Missing In
Action, the fantasy is on an equal par with
Supergirl's. Morris shoots, punches and
kicks his way through a long and confusing
chase and battle scene, on land and water.
His success in bashing so many people (im
possible!) is equally magical. These two
movies are like gothic novels for the adoles
cent male and female. The action is a main
e le m e n t but not especially articulate. As
though these fantasies would be popular
ones, but the young fantasizer m ight not have
the expertise to imagine how such action
w ould really happen.
In both movies, rom antic relationships are
downplayed as in Supergirl, or missing (no
pun intended, as in Missing In Action). Hart
Bochner, as the hunk love interest in Super
girl, is captured by Faye Dunaway, and Super-
girl is smitten with him to the point of having
difficulty concentrating. But the young couple
never ge past the most elementary of kisses
and hugs. In Missing In Action, females are
shown on the periphery, mostly as cheap
These movies are two sides of the adoles
cent coin, as extrapolated by middle-aged,
male movie producers. As such. Missing In
Action probably gets closer to hitting the
target for the teenage male in its relentless
presentation o f adrenalin-provoking scenes.
In this, the country that gave you tea bags.
V c ?,
m y m ain com plaint is that Missing In Action
is too convenient. The viewer doesn’t have to
do any work at all. As for Supergirl, nice light
U N D A A LLE N
IN CONCERT AT ARTICHOKE
“Her art clearly reflects the heart and soul
of women struggling for justice and equality."
a rc .
Sat., Feb. 9 • 8 P.M. Tickets $4.00 at door.
7 2 Z N.W. 21st Ave. « P o r tla n d , OR. 9 7 2 0 9 • 2 4 8 0 3 5 6
O p e n : 1 0 :3 0 6 :0 0 M o n . Sat.
Just Out. February 1985