Review: ‘Vietnam, Texas’

Good intentions are roughly served in this uneven actioner that displays some compassion for the stateside Vietnam community while exploiting its violent elements.

Good intentions are roughly served in this uneven actioner that displays some compassion for the stateside Vietnam community while exploiting its violent elements.

Robert Ginty, who also directed, stars as Father Thomas McCain, a Vietnam vet turned priest who still suffers guilt about the Vietnamese woman he abandoned – pregnant with his child – when he returned to the States. Fifteen years later, he tracks them down in Houston’s Little Saigon and forces himself into their lives, despite the fact that his former flame Mailan (Kieu Chinh) is now comfortably established as the wife of a vicious drug runner, Wong (Haing S. Ngor).

Ginty hooks up with his old soldier buddy Max (Tim Thomerson), now a dissolute bar owner, and they set out to reach Mailan and her teenage daughter Lan (Tamlyn Tomita), setting off beatings and murders as they run up against Wong’s henchmen.

Among its plusses, pic features numerous Asian roles, with Tomita a standout as the spirited teenage daughter. Ngor (The Killing Fields) is suitable chilling as Wong.

Vietnam, Texas

Production

Epic. Director Robert Ginty; Producer Robert Ginty, Ron Joy; Screenplay Tom Badal, C. Courtney Joyner; Camera Robert M. Baldwin Jr; Editor Jonathan P. Shaw; Music Richard Stone; Art Director Kate J. Sullivan

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Robert Ginty Haing S. Ngor Tim Thomerson Kiev Chinh Tamlyn Tomita
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