The ex-Governor of California has many personas that the entire globe now recognise. From bodybuilding to acting, Arnie, as we know him, moulded himself into a Hollywood Star after leaving his home country of Austria. With willpower and determination he formed a career that is one and the same where Action films are concerned. Commando (1985) remains one of his most well known productions following shortly after his first great success with The Terminator. The standard Schwarzenegger concept is followed “ him vs. the bad guys, once again fighting the war solely on his own. These movies becoming prime opportunities to prove his worth as an American Citizen, testing to see if it really is the Home of the Brave.
The film begins with deaths of men that used to be part of a commando team, their leader being John Matrix (Schwarzenegger). Fully retired he now lives in the secluded and peaceful mountains of California with his young daughter Jenny. All is right with the world as family man Matrix spends days looking after his family instead of working on dangerously covert missions. This idyllic life comes to an abrupt halt when his former Commanding Officer visits him, making him aware that two of his old team have been killed. Within minutes the protection looking over his house cease to exist as the bad guys descend. The normal life only masked his previous occupation as the audience discover his shed is in fact a underground bunker. Full to the brim with weapons that would support a small army.
As John becomes the one man force to be reckoned with, taking on all intruders, his daughter Jenny is taken and whisked away to be used as a bargaining tool. The game is officially on. Typically, the bad guy (Bennett) is affiliated with the victim (John Matrix) and his former commando team. After committing war crimes in South America when working with Matrix’s elite force, Bennett was dishonourably discharged left to fend for himself. Siding with the Marxist South American leader who was overthrown by the US on his last trip, he now wages a war with the man who ruined his life.
The next hour is a mix of bad acting interspersed with violence and full throttle, hands on brutality. The action is nonstop, with Arnie somehow disabling and bludgeoning every bad guy that he comes across. Slightly unrealistic is an understatement, nevertheless fight scene after fight scene shows John Matrix unleash the dragon within. Kicking some serious bad guy ass.
Now I need to make myself clear, when I say the film consists of actors who can’t seem to grasp their job role, it does not mean Commando is not worth watching. Schwarzenegger is not the best actor in the business and never will be, but this is not why we like him. His films entertain and despite the utter lack of skills, he still manages to keep the audience enthralled. My friends and I love to consume a few boozy beverages and watch Commando, not because of the vast depth of the plot or eye bulging martial arts moves but because Mr. Schwarzenegger is taking the lead.
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