Commando (1985) – Snapshot Review

Schwarzenegger Commando

Commando (1985)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Screenwriters:  Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman, Steven E. de Souza
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano, Dan Hedaya, Vernon Wells, James Olsen, David Patrick Kelly, Bill Paxton

Mark L. Lester’s 80’s action romp sees Arnold Schwarzenegger take up one of his most iconic roles as the khaki-clad, tree carrying wonder that is John Matrix.

A retired Black Ops Commando, John (Schwarzenegger) enjoys the solace of a rural mountain lodge where he and his daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) engage in an idyllic picture of what ‘father-daughter’ life should be.

However, their days of feeding wild deer and frolicking over peanut butter sandwiches are rudely interrupted when a group of South American criminals kidnap Jenny; forcing John to dig his war-paint out of the wardrobe for one final showdown.

Armed with a pillow and a blanket, Matrix works against the insurmountable odds to get his daughter back alive. With his trusty digital watch and a particular set of skills that would put Liam Neeson to shame, he enlists an unwitting flight attendant Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong) as his perky sidekick.

The pair are confronted with host of obstacles, but armed with a positive attitude (and a rocket launcher) they overcome them with ease. Cindy’s happy-go-lucky nature and Matrix’s devil-may-care attitude form a delightful tag-team of action and comedy, worthy of any Friday night movie binge.

A screenplay with more cracks than a wonky house paired with Arnie’s blunt line delivery leaves little to the imagination, but that isn’t a bad thing. Far from it.

With classic one-liners such as “he’s dead tired,” tickling your bad joke funny bone, and continuity errors aplenty, Commando has surprisingly stood the test of time.

Plus, if you have a penchant for portly Australian (David Patrick Kelly) villains with the scare factor of a fluffy kitten, then this is definitely the movie for you.

Commando is the epitome of ‘caution to the wind, hell for leather, act first think later’ mindless 1980’s action – with another Bill Paxton cameo, see The Terminator – and sometimes that’s all you need.



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