Commando (1985)

Director: Mark L Lester W: Jeph Loeb P: Joel Silver
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya, Vernon Wells, David Patrick Kelly, Bill Duke, Bill Paxton. 1h 30m. USA.

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a retired  United States Special Forces Colonel John Matrix doing this best to raise his daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano), the two live in a secluded cabin in the hills. One by one his old team are assassinated by unknown mercenaries in violent and unsuspected ways. When his ex commander visits to warn him; they are met by same mercenaries who kill the men posted to protect the family and kidnap Jenny. John is presented with a task from a ruthless south american dictator who needs him to carry out a political assassination in Val Verde, reluctantly he accepts in order to protect his daughter. But john has other plans..After killing his entourage his escapes the plane to the remote island, thus giving him 18 hours until they realise he’s escaped and thus to find and rescue this daughter. Following the vertically challenged Sully (Kelly) he teams up with reluctant Cindy (Chong) and eventually the two work together to locate the missing girl.

TAGLINE :  If there’s a mission that no man could survive.. Then he’s the man for the job.

Commando is filmed very well. It’s a slick, high-energy action picture that takes a lot of its strength from the hulking hero and his tiny sidekick dispatching each bad buy in equally similar ways as the original team were killed. The duo basically have one night to track down the henchmen and for most of the film they are in the concrete jungle, dispatching the likes of Bill Dukes fists first in a seedy motel room (only boob scene) and the shift from the early fantasy roles into something more military was a great step into the jungle in the later hit Predator (1987) although he did more swinging from vines in the shopping mall scene than in the whole of Predator. Slowly they duo battle there way through the city, raging when they come near a b and guy and generally live life on the edge, they steal quite a few vehicles, blow up a police van raid a gun store and steal a plane.

John, I’m not gonna shoot you between the eyes, I’m gonna shoot you between the balls!

After kicking ass in the states they fly out to the tropical island where the dictator is hiding out with Jenny, there is a pause for an arming up montage the final act of the movie is set within the idyllic rose gardens and basement of a luxury mansion, John gets to slaughter a lotta guys in khakis and if you’re lucky to have the full copy you’ll see my all time favourite scalping scene. Once this film goes into ultra kill mode it flies by and is a perfect lead into the final showdown between John and the ultimate bad guy played by Vernon Wells whose Aussie twang threats seem a little light by today’s standards but the fight scene is meaty, sweaty roughhousing and is brilliant. Mindless violence at it’s very best.

Rating –  8/10

R: Predator (1987)
5s: Arnold Schwarzenegger
L: A-Z of 1980’s Action Flicks


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