Rated: R
Runtime: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

Reviewer: Dale
Grade: B+

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 minutes.

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.

Reviewer: Jones
Grade: B+

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 submission.

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 years now.

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.