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Commando


What in the hell were we thinking in the 80s? I vividly remember seeing this movie opening weekend in theatres and loving every minute of it. Now, its laugh-out-loud funny in every respect.

COMMANDO features a very young Schwarzenegger as John Matrix (hey that's a cool action hero movie name, someone should make a movie called that....). One of those guys retired in a cabin in the middle of nowhere until his old commander comes to get him for "one last mission", Matrix spends his days feeding deer, eating sandwiches and cuddling with his big haired, mom-jeans wearing daughter Jenny, played by Alyssa Milano.

If you think that description is off, wait until you see the cutsy-pie montage that opens the film. Oh wait, I forgot the moment Alyssa smashes an ice cream cone in her Daddy's face with the same vigor she would rip a Trump sign out of her neighbor's yard.

It's one hell of a first 5 minutes.

Thankfully James Olson (The Andromeda Strain) arrives to tell Matrix that his whole squad is being assassinated and Arnold goes into full beast mode. Bad guys come flying out of the bushes and 9000 bullets hit the cabin (but no one they're aiming at), Jenny is kidnapped by the bad guys and whisked off to Mexico.

Arnold is forced to get on a plane to South America to go kill a President for the bad guys, but he's able to kill the bad guy in the seat next to him, climb down the landing gear of the Western Airlines plane and splash into a swamp like he's jumped off a kiddie diving board instead of a jumbo jet achieving lift off. The realism just leaps off the screen like Arnie's bulging biceps.

He meets a flight attendant named Cindy and kidnaps her to help find his daughter's kidnappers. I couldn't spend very much time delving into the circular reasoning swirling around that decision. I was too busy trying to survive Rae Dawn Chong's screeching, annoying portrayal of Cindy. She makes Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom seem like a Monk by comparison.

Oooof, she's bad.

Dan Hedaya adopts a Ricky Ricardo accent as the head bad guy, Australian actor Vernon Wells brings every bit of his "Road Warrior" madman character to Bennett, Matrix's former squad buddy who's moved to the dark side. Wells called his look for the film "Freddie Mercury on steroids" and he's dead on!

Arnold would get much better at this in a few years with "Predator". He's saddled with a bit too much dialogue a couple films before he really found his groove.

What makes the movie so hilarious is that there must be 20,000 bullets fired at Matrix. Machine guns, riot guns, pistols, grenades, Gatling guns, they all miss.

Arnold's big. I struggle with the physics.

The good news is that all his bullets hit bad guys. Every saw blade he throws cuts off a scalp, every machete hacks off an arm with one blow. The rocket launchers capsize every jeep, every grenade launches bad buys like those trampolines in Angry Birds. It is awesomely hilarious and unending.

And really, really stupid.

What were we thinking?

OK, "Predator" still holds up, its awesome reveling in all its eighties violence. So is "Rambo: First Blood II" made the same year as this film.

Bottom line, my best advice is DON'T GO COMMANDO.

It chafes its way to a D.

"Hey Sully, you know how I told you I'd kill you last? I lied..." still makes me laugh though.

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