Before watching Commando I made a list of things that I expected to see; based on the title of the film, the 80’s setting and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The list was as follows:

  • One-liners/puns
  • Arnie smashing stuff with his bare hands
  • Brutal murders
  • Arnie delivers bad jokes sarcastically
  • Topless Arnie/Muscle flexing
  • Explosions
  • Car chases
  • Car crashes
  • Guns
  • Arnie smashing more stuff with his bare hands
  • A stupid side romance with a random woman
  • Little meaningful plot apart from killing
  • An epic hand-to-hand climatic fight between Arnie and the villain

As the film played I ticked the things off of the list and not to anyone’s surprise it delivered on every one of them (a majority within the opening fifteen minutes). Commando is the action-packed, violent and insanely entertaining movie that I wanted to see and a great watch.

Opening with a short cheery montage showing Arnie flexing his muscles, chop wood and carry his daughter over his shoulder. The film throws the audience straight into the deep end as his daughter is kidnapped and he sets all out to save her life and kill the kidnappers and boy does he kill them.

When the iMDB trivia on an action film states ‘that 54 stunt performers are credited in the movie compared to a cast of 36’ you know the fight scenes are going to be good. Therefore its unsurprising that Arnie goes to town on pretty much every person he encounters. If you want to see Arnie tear things apart with his hands this is the film for you. In the course of the ninety minutes Arnie rips apart: airplanes, car-seats, his enemies necks, chains, ladies tops and countless other things; in an astounding testament to his ability as an action star and his physical strength.

The film is at it’s best when Arnie is left without guns (as seen in the early fight scenes) when he has to use his hands/conveniently placed objects around him he is wonderful to watch and gets you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next kill. He also delivers several of his most famous lines with my personal favourite from the movie being “You know I said I was going to kill you last… I lied.” Before dropping his enemy from a cliff.

It’s just a shame that Commando doesn’t offer enough of this in the later fight scenes… once Arnie gets himself some guns; the film peters to a halt and the fun goes with it. You can watch anyone shoot twenty people with a machine gun but only Schwarzenegger can rip a phone booth from a wall (in a particularly testorone fuelled scene). Admittedly he does lose the guns for the final showdown but by this point the film has lost its magic.

Commando is a film that, as you can guess by the number of times he’s been mentioned in this review can be summed up in two words: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

8/10