Runtime: 1 Hour
and 30 Minutes
He walks into view, carrying a big, yellow chainsaw in one hand and
toting a log the size of a tree on his shoulder. That's right, folks,
it's Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he's going to be pissed within ten
Arnie is an ex-green beret (or something like that) who has retired
from active duty and is now living in seclusion with his daughter,
played by future "Who's the Boss?" moppet and clothes-shedding
slut Alyssa Milano. When cute little Alyssa gets kidnapped by scumbags
who want Arnie to kill the president of a South American country,
Arnie gets understandably upset. Of course he isn't going to kill
the president. But he seems to have no qualms about killing everyone
else he sees.
"Commando" is one of my all-time favorite Schwarzenegger
films. Why? Because it's just so damn much fun. Arnie comes walking
in with a tree on his shoulder, which is one of his finest introductions,
and then goes on to lay waste to everything in his path. It's great.
He dangles people over the edges of cliffs with one hand to get information.
He impales someone on the leg of a couch. He jumps off the landing
gear of a jumbo jet and into a swamp. He rips the passenger seat out
of a small, foreign car. Arnie is an unstoppable force in this film,
motivated simply by his desire to retrieve his daughter from gun-toting
thugs. He's like the Energizer Bunny on steroids: nothing stops him,
he just keeps killing and killing and killing.
Sure, the film has a drawback or two. The plot isn't the most complex.
But who cares? It's a clever premise, and it gives Arnie a good excuse
to blow things up. But Arnie's chief adversary, and a former colleague
of his, is a bit of a cheeseball. He's supposed to be a muscular badass,
but he's mostly just a fat idiot with a knife. His facial expressions
are comically overdone. The guy overacts and uses an Aussie accent
and, basically, reminds me of Freddie Mercury. I half expected him
to start singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" at any
given moment. Which is not to say that he isn't fun as hell to watch.
The guy's overacting and constant sneering is actually pretty hilarious.
And his one-liners are totally overblown and comical. His name is
Bennett (in case you were wondering) and he is played by actor Vernon
Wells. Vernon has been good in films like "The
Road Warrior" as a mohawked villain and in
"Innerspace" as a pseudo-robotic assassin. But here, well,
he's fun to watch at the very least. So is Dan Hedaya, giving another
fine supporting turn here as an oily dictator.
But it's Arnold's show, folks, and he delivers throughout the film.
He's great fun to watch. He kills an abundance of villains, one per
five minutes, I believe. And I love how he gets things done. For example,
I love the way that he drives a bulldozer through the wall of an Army
Surplus store to get supplies. I mean, you just can't beat that. All
of his one-liners achieve a sort of cheesy magnificence. You've even
got a Bill Paxton cameo. And it all culminates in his destruction
of an entire Pacific Coast island, one building at a time.
God, I love Arnold. And movies like this are the reason why.
Growing up, we all have those certain movies that, for some reason,
hold a special place in our hearts. The type of movies that, in retrospect,
you wonder what is what about them that had you so fascinated. For
me, "Commando" is one of these movies.
The basic premise of the film is that retired Colonel John Matrix
(Arnold Schwarzenegger) is thrust back into action, when his daughter
(Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped by some militants who want Marix to do
a job for them. He is given a timetable to carry out his mission in
by the militants, but if he fails to complete his task, they will
kill his daughter. Of course, this does not sit well with Matrix.
He knows his daughter will be killed whether or not the mission is
carried out, so he decides to form his own mission plan. Along the
way he manages to enlist the help of a stewardess, get arrested, and
blow up a whole bunch of stuff.
This film is textbook Schwarzenegger. I remember watching it, as a
child, and thinking that these bad guys have to be really stupid to
screw with Arnold. After "Conan:
The Barbarian" and "The
Terminator", you would have thought they would have learned
something, but apparently not, as I don't think kidnapping his daughter
is the type of move that gets you on Arnold's good side.
What I like about this film is that it's just a fun ride from Arnold's
early "blow the shit out of everything" years. When he's
not blowing everything to bits, he's typically beating someone into
One point of humor in this movie is Matrix's nemesis. I want to know
who chose this guy for the role. He looks like a castoff from The
Blue Oyster Club. In watching this film over the years, I could never
find any line of reasoning that would support the concept that this
clown is a match for Matrix. If you've got it figured let me know.
I've been racking my brain, trying to figure this out for some fifteen
Aside from that putz, the movie is quite entertaining. Hell Matrix's
nemesis is even entertaining, simply on the grounds of his ridiculous
nature in the film.Whatever you do, don't expect anything terribly
substantial from this movie. If you want that in a Schwarzenegger
film check out "True Lies"
or "End of Days". But
if you're just looking for a fun time, and want to see Arnold lay
waste to an entire island.......Check it out. You won't be disappointed.