Taking a true trip into nostalgia, it’s time to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger. For a while, he has been the governor of California. Though his policies seemed to go well with everyone, he mostly got the job because of his film career. It’s interesting because California is a sixty percent Hispanic state, yet they elected an Austrian governor. But before he spent his days sitting in an office in Sacramento, he was living it up with a giant blockbuster career. This man defined what everyone loves about action movies; a giant muscle bound man whose actually charming, a never-ending series of catchphrases, and a seamlessly unstoppable force that would make him the winner of any match.
Coming off strong in the eighties and nineties, he’s landed in that category of “not so good actor, but still likable”. I think the reason everyone liked him was that he was the first giant of a man that was actually not threatening, yet intimidating in front of his enemies. He was popular in my circle of friends, as we would watch a film of his at least every other time we were at each other’s houses. But out of all of his movies, which one is the best to represent him. After some extensive thinking, I realized that Commando actually fits a lot of same reasons why I like Schwarzenegger.
Retired Delta Force Operative Colonel John Matrix (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) is happily living in Santa Barbara with his young daughter Jenny (played by Alyssa Milano). Matrix is told from his Major that the other members of the force are being murdered by a group of mercenaries. Despite the increased security, the group invades and captures Jenny. In order to guarantee her safety, they demand that Matrix take a mission to assassinate a South American Dictator.
While on the plane, Matrix quietly kills a guard, and escapes before it takes off. This gives him eleven hours to kill the other mercenaries and kill Jenny. Helping him is a flight attendant named Cindy. After tailing some of the other men, he discovers the island location of the leaders of the group, Arius and former force partner, Bennett. After a quick to trip to the local gun shop, he flies to the island of the men to kill them all.
What I love about this movie is not only how cool the action is, but with also how simple everything is. There really isn’t any big twist or turn. It’s simply run and gun and get his daughter back. At least this makes it easy to follow. But the biggest element isn’t really the story; it’s all about the explosions and gun fights. Though not everything makes since (like pushing his truck down the hill for a chase when the group cuts his wires), I find myself enjoying it a lot. I actually see this as one of the last truly impossible action movies. They show an entire gruella army that uses hundreds of stock of ammo that seems to wiz by this man of a mountain.
Schwarzenegger was in his early acting days, so it’s fair to say he hadn’t fully developed his persona. He had just come off of playing the terminator, so he had the task of making himself seem friendlier. Though it does seem a little too good to be true, I’ll buy it. His focus of getting his daughter back gives him the motivation necessary to go into full combat mode. Even when his enemies are spewing jokes, he’ll still reply, “You’re funny, I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last”. Something like that is so epic, you have no choice but to smile.
I’ll give this four and a half rocket launchers out of five. Though it’s a little dated, Commando still makes for a great Schwarzenegger film. If you ever want to introduce your children to him, then I would recommend this one (with adult supervision of course).