Action Movie Fanatix Review: Commando

Commando banner

Somewhere, Somehow, Someone’s Going To Pay.

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Rae Dawn Chong, Vernon Wells, Bill Paxton

Director: Mark L. Lester

1985  |  90 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Keep an eye out, they’ll be coming. You’re downwind, the air currents might tip them off.” – John Matrix
“Downwind?  You think I could smell them coming?” – Jackson
“I did.” – John Matrix

Commando is an all time Arnold classic.  If you don’t like Commando, you don’t like Arnold.  When I think of Arnold movies this is what I think of.

John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a retired black ops commando who comes out of retirement when his daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped by one of his former squad members.  John travels to the island nation of Val Verde to defeat his former team mate and the former dictator that is attempting to overthrow the current Val Verdean regime.

Commando features one of the cheesiest opening scene in any action movie…EVER.  It first shows us how manly of a man John Matrix is as he cuts down a tree then carries that entire tree on his shoulders back to his home where he then chops the wood (muscles bulging of course) with ease.  Next are a montage of scenes of him attempting to look natural in the father role as he throws Alyssa Milano in the pool, they hand feed a deer together and then eat sandwiches she made for them.
“What’s in this?” – John Matrix
“You don’t wanna know.” – Jenny Matrix
Matrix then takes another big bite of that mystery sandwich.  Yummm.

There are so many classic Arnold one liners here.  It’s brings me back to my friends calling me and playing stuff off of the old Arnold soundboards online.  It would be impossible to talk about it without mentioning some of these clever quips the Austrian Oak comes up with as he lays waste to a former dictator’s regime.  After killing a man on a plane in the beginning, he tells the flight attendant not to bother his friend, saying “He’s dead tired.”  Classic!

And of course, during a fight with a Green Beret he pulls this little gem out of thin air.  “I eat Green Berets for breakfast.  And right now, I’m very hungry!”

Arnold is as ripped as ever here and it clearly effects his mobility – he runs through an open courtyard shooting from the hip while Val Verdean goons shoot at him instead of doing things like, you know, taking cover.  He isn’t completely invincible however.  He is at least shown taking damage on a few occasions although it doesn’t affect him all that much.

The steel drum theme keeps playing throughout the entire movie which at first felt a little out of place but by the end I was loving it!

Like I said, when I think of Arnold movies I think of Commando, even more so than The Terminator or Predator movies.  I just feel like Commando is classic Arnold whereas The Terminator and Predator are different genres entirely.  Commando is Arnold, ripped as hell, spraying bullets and spewing one-liners.  It is just such an action packed good time.  An absolute classic.