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Commando (1985)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Commando (1985) Classic 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger action romp that's one of my all-time favorite movies. Just had the pleasure of viewing the unedited director's cut from Mark L. Lester, which includes additional gore in the already over-the-top, violent shed assault scene and some additional minor scenes of exposition. This movie was PURE GOLD when I saw it in the theater in 1985 and remains one of Arnie's best spectacles to this day for me. I watch it several times a year for the adrenaline rush. The mixture of humor, outrageous action sequences, and rapid-fire pacing just cannot be beat. While the movie has an earnest, deadpan tone (like Arnie's ultra-cool character John Matrix), you can never take it seriously. It's just so completely over the top that you either "get it" or you won't. The James Horner score is among his earliest and best---a wild mixmash of percussion, horns, and sax that sounds like an overheated, banging, clanging engine ready to explode. Perfect background accompaniment for the action unfolding and nowadays, a great listen through headphones while working out, mind you!) The plot? Arnie plays a former mercenary soldier, retired and living the quiet life with his tween daughter Jennie (played by a young, energetic Alyssa Milano, a few years away from the CHARMED TV show and her delicious lesbian antics in EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE ). His old team members start to get picked off by unknown assassins and later, Matrix's daughter is kidnapped. The bad guys want Matrix to do "one last job for them" (overthrow a government official on foreign soil) or they'll kill his daughter! Matrix will agree, right? WRONG! He jumps out of the jumbo-sized plane that they put him on to do the job AS IT'S TAKING OFF (in a truly spectacular and unrealistic sequence) and proceeds to go after every bad guy with glorious, gore-filled Terminator gusto until he finds and rescues his daughter. He wastes baddies left and right, mowing them down in Blazers and cars, tossing them around a shopping mall like they're toothpicks, impaling them on furniture in sleazy motel rooms and throwing 'em off cliffs like they're rag dolls! Along the way, Matrix gets assistance from hottie Rae Dawn Chong, in the role of a sexy airline stewardess who joins Matrix's cause and the cartoonish action. (And I surely wish foxy Rae would've shown us more of her glorious, shapely cocoa globes in this movie like she did in so many other classic 80's movies, in the prime of her shapely life! A helluva loss there!) The one liners are nonstop sizzling bacon, with deadpan Arnie showing clear adeptness at subtle comedy and his movie star power to come. And the truly great part of COMMANDO is that it still has that TERMINATOR 1 "mow everyone down that gets in the way" attitude, before Hollywood (and even Arnie himself) got all politically correct on us in the movies. (Anyone remember the ridiculous "shoot them all in the legs" moment in TERMINATOR 2?!? CRINGE!!!!) In a most spectacular ending, Arnie cuts, slices, dices, blasts, shoots, stabs, and blows up countless bad guys (and buildings!) to rescue his little girl and you'll be cheering him on every bloody step of the way! COMMANDO is a timeless, tireless classic that never gets old to these aging eyes, so see it, and if you've already seen it....see it AGAIN, man! Now! Some how, some way, SOME ONE'S gonna pay!!!!

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