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      P.O.W. The Escape

      R Released Apr 4, 1986 1 hr. 30 min. Action List
      Reviews 31% 50+ Ratings Audience Score A U.S. colonel (David Carradine) will help his Viet Cong captor (Mako) flee, if the other POWs can come with them. Read More Read Less

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      P.O.W. The Escape

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Also known as Behind Enemy Lines and Attack Force ‘Nam, David Carradine stars as Colonel James Cooper, which is the Chuck Norris role in this movie, as Cannon had gone all in on military movies. Directed by Gideon Amir, who produced Cannon's Boy Meets Girl, Missing In Action and American Ninja, this movie had three — yes, three — screenwriters: Malcolm Barbour (who would go on to create Cops for Fox), James Bruner (who had already written Missing In Action) and Avi Kleinberger (who wrote American Ninja and three of its four sequels). During a mission at the end of the war, Cooper gets caught trying to liberate his fellow soldiers and ends up in a North Vietnamese POW camp himself. He's due for a trial bu the North Vietnamese, but Vinh (Mako), the camp commander, offers him a deal: if he can get Cooper and the troops there to safety, they will help him get to America. With music from other Cannon movies (The Delta Force, Revenge of the Ninja), you may write this off as just another Vietnam movie, but it literally wraps Carradine in the flag and also has not just Steve James, but Steve James singing "Proud Mary," and I think it's worth watching just for that one scene. And because this was made in the Philippines, it legally has to have James Gaines in it. Also, drink every time Carradine says, "Everybody goes home," and you'll die. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review dave j The David Carradine evaluation of "Missing in Action" as Colonel James Cooper patriotic duty to save the POWs left behind resulting him to be captured himself. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member No man or American flag gets left behind. As the US exits Vietnam, a ruthless POW camp commander makes a deal with US POWs to lead them to freedom if he can tag along with them home. Perhaps the POWs can be his neighbours in South Florida. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Background I had an okay time watching the movie at first, but when I saw it multiple times, I began to love this movie even more. I basically had nothing else to do, so that is the reason why I saw this movie in the first place. I am unsure if this movie has been re-released. I hope it does and is good as it was when I saw it on Spanish. Now, I'm going to give a sample of my review from the past and give you a better, much helpful review. There is a lot of details so hope you won't get lost. Written: Jul 01 '05 don't be fooled by the cover! The movie POW: The Escape looks like a classic full throttled action packed movie. But it isn't, it's more like POW: The Adventure. The movie is about a soldiers launch an assault at a POW camp they found. But, the NVA knew they were coming so they set up a trap. Now that the hero is capture and is among the other POW's, he has plan for escape. After escaping, they are in a journey to get every man back home. It's alright, but has some nice fight scenes. If disappointed, you should go see Rambo First Blood Part 2, Missing in Action (first two), The Great Escape, and Uncommon Valor. END. This was one of the earliest reviews I have done throughout my life. Now, I have decided to revisit and write the full-length review because of some of the reasons: 1. I have seen the movie multiple times. 2. My opinion has changed. 3. Improve my writings and revisit the past of my writings. Written since March 13, 2009-May 1, 2009. Plot & Experience POW: the Escape is an exploitation war film from the 80's. It stars David Carradine (RIP) as the colonel that 'they' couldn't keep, and Mako as the guy who wanted him to stay. The story sets place in Vietnam 1972. The war is ending and conflicts are coming to a conclusion, but not everything is going great. Colonel Cooper is unhappy with the politics in Washington because they have delayed a plan that looks so perfect. Even worse, he believes there has been a leak to this plan. However, he still goes for the mission; the mission is to rescue the POWs. Like Cooper believed, the NVA, at the camp, know that Cooper and his team are coming, so they have an ambush plan of their own. Cooper's team goes into the camp and soon find out there is a trap. The men realize what is going and retreat in a good order and inflict heavy casualties on the attacking force. However, Cooper makes a daring rescue and escape that goes in flames. Unable to continue, he joins the POWs and lives like them. There he meets the prisoners and Captain Vinh (Mako). At first things seem like the end until; Vinh has an offer for him. He wants to take him and one of the prisoners to Saigon, so he can escape Vietnam. At first, he does whatever to make Cooper submit, but hey it's Col. Cooper and he never submits. Unable to deal with the ultimatum, Captain Vinh agrees to take all the prisoners of war to Saigon. At this point, I got really into the movie because it is the first time I saw something with an unexpected turn. The content, logic, & later on... As Vinh and his men go through plan, suspicion rises and soon enough, the explosions and gunfire erupt. I got really into the movie as I kept watching. Col. Cooper, seeing the chance, makes a move and frees the POWs from the NVA with some help. Now, they go on the run from the NVA and Captain Vinh and go on an adventure. But Cooper can't do this on his own, he gets the help from Johnston (Steven James), Adams (Phil Brock), and even from Sparks (Charles R. Floyd). The guys go through several obstacles and battles throughout the movie and takes on a new level of machismo. Yes, machismo that is not only cheesy, but contagious in a way. As I watched the movie (several times), I was surprised by the numbers of deaths that occurs and the quick turns it makes. The movie turns left me in dust in some logical way. For example, his men at the camp are destroyed & killed and he is miles away from the rest of the survivors, and then, he manages to have a large number of troops to fight in the final scene of the movie. I wonder how he does that, and does he kill their commander to take charge? Also to note, Captain Vinh is almost like a cartoon character that goes after the Cooper & POWs to the fullest extent, even if it kills him. It is like a grudge that he won't go away. The Characters & the roles So, speaking of characters, there are number of characters, but only a few characters have a role. One of my favorites is Sparks who has an interesting personality as he is a renegade. I don't know how he was captured, but my guess is that he is in the Special Forces and was on a solo mission. Also, Johnston was interesting as the (bear with me) 'cool black guy'. I write this because he does most of the fighting in the movie and has some real accurate marksmanship. I liked him along with Scott. Meanwhile, Col. Cooper is your average protagonist. He has all the skills from shooting to kung-fu like Chuck Norris. The problems with the movie Yeah, despite watching this movie, I don't know anything about the acting because I saw it in Spanish. However, from what I saw, the acting looked fair. Oh, I forgot to mention, this movie is basically a sausage fest. There are basically no female roles throughout the movie, with the exception of the prostitute in the film. Now, the movie has a lot of good fight scenes, a funny/cheap car chase scene, explosions, but the one that takes the cake the most is the cheesiest and guiltiest pleasure. The scene is at US base being besieged by NVA. The NVA make a final assault and Col Cooper goes to the base to rescue the soldiers. He fights his way up without being spotted (don't ask why) and goes to the headquarters. He orders every soldier to withdraw from the base and before he leaves, he takes and wraps the American flag around him. Hence, he takes an M60 and gets superpowers thanks to the flag. He guards the rear of the withdrawing troops and shoots at any attacking NVA without even aiming his gun. The scene plays out like a cheesy patriotic movie, but I loved the scene a lot. Is it any good? Should I watch it if I come across it Well, the movie has some turns and surprises along with a pretty cool soundtrack as well as some decent action scenes. POW is a movie that I'm recommending it to those who are interested in war/action flicks. You might dislike it at first, but after viewing a few more times, you'll possibly love it. It is somewhat suitable for some teens if they are into the cheap movies like this one. Also, if you wonder what the movie is like, I have one Internet website to check out the trailer Go there and from there, you will see the trailer for it. Also, if you're going to see it, make sure, you have nothing else going on, because that is why I saw this film in the first place. BEST SCENES: The patriotic scene with Col. Cooper wrapped in the US flag fighting the NVA. Also, Col. Cooper & Johnston battle the entire enemy in the village to help the POWs and the troops (from the base) escape. WORST SCENE: Col. Cooper vs. Sparks. Here is a cover of the movie just in case you are interested. I'll try and escape from my house just to watch POW - THE ESCAPE. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Carradine tries to out-POW Chuck Norris. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member this is an exploitation film where there are huge explosion and 100% accuracy on bullets it's cheaply done and enjoyable for some parts it's like Rambo meets Missing In Action II: The Beginning "Holy smokes!" Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A U.S. colonel (David Carradine) will help his Viet Cong captor (Mako) flee, if the other POWs can come with them.
      Gideon Amir
      Executive Producer
      Yoram Globus
      Malcolm Barbour, James Bruner, Avi Kleinberger, John Langley, Jeremy Lipp
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 4, 1986, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2018
      Sound Mix
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