Commando (1985)

Mark L Lester directs Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong and Vernon Wells in this violent actioner where Arnie must rescue his daughter from the mercenaries who want him to assassinate a president.

Exactly 90 minutes. The perfect length. Commando is filled with flowing carnage, smooth stunts, hissable villians, funny one-liners and juddering muscle. The plot is a streamlined marvel… ticking clock, relatable quest (“ALL I CARE ABOUT IS JENNY!”), join the dots action. James Horner’s score is persuasive and hectoring. You get Bill Duke, Dan Hedaya and David Patrick Kelly in side baddie roles. All are dispatched with mordant wit and teutonic cool. Arnie punches his way out of airplanes, shopping malls and motels like they are made of crepe paper. Who knows what is going on in that neighbouring hotel room when he crashes through its wall? Looks like they are filming a pegging video! While not the very best of its form, it does feel like the purest example, which makes it endlessly rewatchable. If you have a thrusting desire to see Arnie take down a toy catalogue of colourful henchmen one scene at a time and then cut through the entire Val Verde separatist army like butter then this is base metal such spears are forged from. If you don’t have 90 minutes but do have a spare 2 then the trailer is also the stuff of legend. “If it is a mission no man can survive… he’s the man for the job!” Yes! YES! Arnold was, is and always will be!


Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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