In this early action classic that features his unique blend of thrills and offbeat humor, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Col. John Matrix, ultimate soldier and one-man army. Matrix, the former leader of a special commando... more » strike force that always got the toughest jobs done, is forced back into action when his young daughter (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped. To find her, Matrix has to fight his way through an array of punks, killers, one of his former commandos, and a fully equipped private army. With the help of a feisty stewardess (Rae Dawn Chong) and an old friend, Matrix has only a few hours to overcome his greatest challenge: finding his daughter before she's killed.« less
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 5/6/2008...
A solid, hardcore, no-brain actioner from the resume of Ah-nold was "Commando." This was at the height of Arnie's career, when the body count in his films was at an ultimate high (this one might be the highest).
Arnold plays John Matrix, an elite commando who is forced to come out of his early retirement when his daughter (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped by a band a specially-trained thugs led by Arius (Dan Hedaya), an exiled Latin American dictator. Matrix is to assassinate the President of Arius' country in exchange for his daughter, but Matrix, decides to abort that mission and take on the bad guys. Matrix becomes a single-man army and sets off an all out war against this small regime, and rescue his daughter.
Great stuff, if you haven't seen it, this is a must. A prime-example of the ultra-violent '80s film! This was also the competition film to "Rambo: First Blood Part II," released earlier that same year, starring Arnie's friendly rival Sylvester Stallone.
"Commando" was directed by Mark L. Lester, a director noted for giving us gratuitous violence in films like "Firestarter," "Showdown in Little Tokyo" and his mini-franchise "Class of 1984" and "Class of 1999." He's also responsible for some of the better "direct-to-video" films like "Extreme Justice" and "Night of the Running Man" both starring one of my favorite character actors, Scott Glenn. Check those out as well.
Here's something you may not know about the sequel to "Commando":
The writer of "Commando," Steven E. De Sousa, wrote a sequel for it, about John Matrix going up against terrorists. 20th Century Fox was interested but Arnold was not. So, De Sousa rewrote his "Commando II" script, submitted it to Fox, was touched up by writer Jeb Stuart and it became, "Die Hard."
Pretty cool, huh?
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
I eat Green Berets for breakfast and right now I'm very hung
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 08/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you think you've seen Commando before on DVD then you're gonna pass on this one, right?
This guilty pleasure is one of my all-time favorite testosterone pumping 80's Ahnuld action flicks chock full of some of the most memorable and hilariously over-the-top one-liners ever assembled in a single Schwarzenneger film with an exhaustive body count tally of 81 confirmed kills. Now it's finally getting the UNRATED Director's Cut treatment it deserves so we can see even more of the Governator at his macho 80's Republican finest.
The Commando Director's Cut DVD features the original 90-minute theatrical film and restores 96 seconds of mostly graphic violent shots that were trimmed to garner the film an R rating in this never-before-seen unrated version as envisioned by director Mark L. Lester restored back into the film via seamless branching. Additional DVD special features include director audio commentary, 3 deleted scenes which have not been added back into the film, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo galleries and more.
Commando Director's Cut is presented in widescreen (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Surround audio, Spanish Mono, French Stereo plus French and Spanish subtitles. Bonus content includes:
* Seamlessly branched Director's Cut with never-before-seen footage * Audio commentary by director Mark Lester (on theatrical version only) * Deleted Scenes * Pure Action featurette * Let Off Some Steam featurette * Photo galleries with over 150 images - Creating Commando - Domestic Bliss with John and Jenny - Kill Arnold, Kill! - Trashing the Galleria
Don't deprive yourself of some pleasure. Come on, Bennett... let's party!"
Cult Classic with Absolute Perfection
Justin Heath | Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada | 08/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far one of the greatest movies of the century. I can't believe what an awesome movie it is. It has no morals, no lessons to teach, no political statements, no coherence, and no sense whatsoever. When Schwarzenegger's beloved daughter is kidnapped by a psychotic dictator, he doesn't try to reason with the bad guys or take precautions like most action heroes would. He just goes bonkers and starts killing everyone in sight. The movie is packed with fantastic scenes such as Arnie crashing a car at about 80 mph, without a seatbelt, and being perfectly fine, Arnie tearing a phone booth out of a wall, Arnie punching a guy through a wall, etc. It's gloriously entertaining.
Also, despite his reputation for bad acting, he delivers all his lines with perfect comic timing ("Let off some steam, Bennett"). Bennett is also a great character, but no match for Arnold. You'd have to be completely devoid of personality to not find this at least slightly entertaining.
This is my favorite film of all time, hands down. Buy it, don't think about it. It will be the greatest investment you ever make for an action flick of the 80's.
10/10 stars. Seriously."
John S. Ryan | Silver Lake, OH | 12/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is Col. John Matrix, recently retired from some sort of military special-ops career (in which he was, of course, the best there was), and now living in a cabin in the hills with his little girl (Alyssa Milano). She'll be crushed if he has to go back into action again, and he promises he won't. But somebody is killing the members of his old unit one by one, and they may be coming for him next.
Sure enough, not long into the film, his daughter has been kidnapped. And the bad guys explain that they'll return her if he'll just perform one teeny-tiny little assassination . . .
That's the setup; the rest of the plot consists primarily of Arnold kicking a$$. That's what you wanted to see, isn't it? If not, skip this film.
But if you like this sort of thing -- as, obviously, I do -- _Commando_ will be one of your favorites (if it isn't already). Would you like to see Arnold 'drive' a sabotaged pickup truck by shoving it down a mountain and hopping in? Disembark from a jet aircraft while it's taking off? Pick up a phone booth while it's got a bad guy in it? Deliver classic lines like 'I'll be back' and 'Trust me'? Do all of the foregoing while whomping the behinds of some unambiguously evil bad guys? This is your movie.
The major villain -- Bennett, played by Vernon Wells -- looks and sounds as though he'd accidentally wandered into the set still in costume from _The Road Warrior_ (in which he played Wez). But you weren't watching this for its gritty realism, were you?
Rae Dawn Chong is in it too, as the 'feisty stewardess' that appears in so many of these films (see Halle Berry in _Executive Decision_ for one of the more recent). She gets a few of the good lines, and she even gets to fire a rocket launcher.
But the show belongs to the Gubernator. This is classic Schwarzenegger."
Forget Vin Diesel, Arnie will always be the man!!!
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 12/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before Vin Diesel started doing mainstream PG-13 crowd pleasers, Arnold Schwarzenegger did quite a number of films that were so laughably bad but you couldn't help but love them. Commando is one of them, and the premise is so godforsaken ridiculous you'll be laughing the whole time, but you can't help but love it. When Arnie's daughter (a very very young Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped by some of Arnie's ex military comrades, Arnie goes on a one man army killing spree to rescue her. We see Arnie take out the baddies (and a few cops and mall security guards) by shooting them, running them over, impaling them, slicing them up, and we can't forget the good 'ol rocket launcher now can we? A scene chewing Dan Hedya plays a chessily written villian whose intentions most viewers will ignore while watching all the over the top gratuitous violence that makes Commando such a great movie. XXX can't hold a candle to this or to any of Arnie's other greats (Running Man, Predator, and we can't forget Total Recall), and Commando is a popcorn movie all the way. So put your brain on hold, grab a sixer, and enjoy the gratuitous yet hilarious antics of one of the best action heroes of all time."
Still a great bad movie.
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 05/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EVERYONE loved COMMANDO. And what's not to love? Definitely dated, this still stands up as an exciting, entertaining film. Arnold Schwarzenegger, hot from his stint as Conan and fresh from his role as the Terminator one year before, cemented his status as THE action hero for the next decade, starring in such similar fare as RAW DEAL, PREDATOR, and RUNNING MAN, and ultimately parodying himself in 1993's LAST ACTION HERO. A non-stop, over-the-top, excessively violent film, COMMANDO also introduced the world, previously only graced with "I'll be back," to a whole slew of Arnie-isms, e.g., "Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired" and "Let off some steam."
As Col. John Matrix, Arnold has retired from the hectic life of a military killing machine. Happy with his life in the wilderness, he spends his days cutting down trees and spending quality time with his daughter (dig the title sequence montage in which the gentle giant feeds a fawn by hand). Not even fifteen minutes into the film, however, paradise crumbles as Matrix's comrade-turned-enemy kills all of his former unit and kidnaps his daughter in an attempt to force Matrix to assassinate a third-world leader so that wannabe dictator General Arius (so hilariously poorly portrayed by Dan "Nick Tortelli" Hedaya) can take control. The fast pace never lets up - though Matrix has eleven hours to complete his assignment, we, thankfully, are privy to only 90 minutes of compressed chaos. And what a terrible, wonderful hour and a half it is.
Bad acting, bad wardrobe, and an absolutely unbelievable premise are all easily ignored as our eyes glaze over and we watch, delighted, the body count grow by the second. Arnold kills everyone to save his daughter. EVERYONE. Bad guys, policemen, mall security guards, EVERYONE. He shoots them, he snaps their necks, he runs them over with cars, he explodes them with a rocket launcher, he impales them on furniture and pitchforks, he drops them from cliffs, he dismembers them with machetes, axes and circular saw blades, cracking wise all the way while keeping a straight face. COMMANDO is the kind of fun film they simply do not make anymore. Excessive, but not grisly, and completely devoid of any overbearing social commentary, COMMANDO is simply pure entertainment. The DVD looks crisp and sounds magnificent - rich colors, deep, dark blacks, and many, many LOUD explosions. Order a pizza, buy a six-pack, turn off your brain, and turn up the volume."