Dub Cee Reviews: Commando (1985)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Writer(s): Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman, Steven E. de Souza (Story) , Steven E. de Souza (Screenplay)
Its rather strange how I feel about this movie. While I enjoyed watching it…my God are there a million things that are just flat out bad. Plot holes are one thing in an over the top action flick but when it seems entire pages of script were ignored you just can’t look past that. Anyways, here goes.
In Commando, Arnold plays John Matrix, a retired special forces op who is living the quite live in the middle of nowhere with his daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano). One day his old C.O. shows up and lets him know his entire team is dead and he is likely next on the list. The General leaves two “good” soldiers behind to protect the family. Literally as the helicopter is flying away, Arnold “smells” the bad guys and saves his daughters as the two highly trained and good soldiers get blown away after their 15 seconds of life.
Anywho, Arnold kills the messenger and tries to stop the convoy from escaping but fails. We learn an exiled member of his old squad is the one killing people off and they have an offer for ol’ Johnny Boy. Kill a president he help put in place and they will let his daughter go. So they stick Arnold on a plane where he promptly kills his escort who is “dead tired.” Oh yes, more clever and witty writing from Mr. de Souza folks!
Arnold is back in the airport and through happenstance ends up aligning himself if an attractive damsel in distress. She was just fine until he showed up and ruined her life…asshole. Anyway he chases down the weasel known as “Sully” the same man he a previously promised to kill last…turns out he lied. When Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong) asks “What happened to Sully.” The Arnold replies, “I let him go.”
What a damn minute here. Firstly, he just moments ago refused to tell her what was going on but somehow she knows this jerk off’s name. Yea, we saw him harassing her but he never gave her his name. Secondly, holy shit! Its David Patrick Kelly! Points for casting any member of the cast of The Crow. At this point I just want to say I was cheering for Arnold to just get annoyed with her whining and just slam her face into the dash! I think he tried to when he wrecked her car into a telephone pole during a high speed chase. Despite the fact the neither was wearing a seatbelt…her seat had previously been ripped out of the car and the fact that it was the smallest car ever made, neither of them had a scratch or were thrown. Ah, movie magic folks, learn to love it.
Arnold then eats a green beret for breakfast…its during this fight scene we get some random Boobiness from Dr. Ava Cadell. Borat says, “Very Nice”. This is another scene that bugs me. The revolver sounds like a damn shotgun going off and yet nobody seems to notice. This is a recurring theme regarding the sound of the gun. Later Arnold is using a pistol and a shotgun during a shoot out yet somehow they both make the same sound when fired. Uh, ok, sure, why not. After this the pair “goes shopping” so he can get some weapons. Of course when you use a bulldozer to get in, its obvious as the cops are called. Call me crazy but if he is so well trained, couldn’t he have picked the lock instead of looking for a bulldozer with the key still around? Also, the cops arrest Arnold and load him into a truck yet somehow miss the woman in a convertible full of automatic weapons sitting in the parking lot. *headslam*
Flash forward to the island…all evil dictators have their own islands ya know. It is here we get the most famous, “Good guys loads up on guns” montage ever filmed. The bad guys learn of our hero’s escape and proceed to kill Jenny. Whoops, turns out she has more brains than Cindy as she has escaped. This leads to a showdown between Bennet (Vernon Wells) and Arnold. Lets see, Arnold, build like a tank, tall as a redwood, and Austrian vs Wells with his beer gut, chainmail, and Aussie accent.
Care to guess how this went? Bennet lets off some steam and we get our closing scene where the Calvary arrives just in time to be too late.
Gen. Kirby: Leave anything for us?
Arnold: Just bodies.
Ok, I admit, that was good. The ending teases a sequel which was made in 1988. It was not called Commando 2. They tried to write a script for that but couldn’t explain why Matrix was back in action after telling his daughter he wouldn’t. So it some changes were made and the movie was offered to Arnold who declined. Then it was offered to Stallone who said no thanks. Then Burt Reynolds, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, and even Richard Gere said no. Eventually the role was offered to and accepted by Bruce Willis…we know his movie as Die Hard.
As for Commando…while I enjoyed it, it really is a bad movie. I can only give it a C because of the bonus points from David Patrick Kelly.