Commando is about a soldier who has his daughter captured, so that a dictator will have the soldier assassinate a president for him. However, the soldier refuses to assassinate the president and knows that once he has completed his mission his daughter will be killed anyway, so instead of doing what the villains want him to, he kills his escort, jumps off of a plane and must now race against time to track down the villains, take them down and save his daughter in the next ten hours.
The acting for this movie is minimal. There is not really any time in this movie for character development because it is one of the few movies I have seen that doesn’t even bother with much of a plot and is instead literally non stop action from start to finish. I doubt a movie could get more action packed than this one is in an hour and a half. It really doesn’t come up for air at all, which is great for action but bad for any kind of acting. The only other noteworthy actor in this movie, though, besides Arnold Schwarzenegger is a black man who had only one other big movie appearance I know of when he was with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. This time he plays a villain who is easily dispatched by Arnold.
The action in this movie is really what makes it so great. You get non stop action from start to finish with Arnold jumping out of air planes, beating the crap out of green berets, taking down an entire army of soldiers and having a great final confrontation with probably the best villain I have ever seen to take on Arnold in a hand to hand fight. Very few villains besides Bennet, the main villain in this movie, can put up a good fight against Arnold except for maybe the predator, James Caan and the TX 1000.
The humor in this movie is great, too. There are so many quotes and one liners in this movie. It might be the best Arnold movie for quotes besides the unintentionally bad Mr. Freeze role in Batman. Some great ones are “I eat green berets for breakfast and right now I am very hungry.” “Remember when I said I would kill you last? I lied.” and of course the classic line, “Let off some steam, Bennet.” Arnold kills his villains with style. There are also some good, humorous lines from the woman in this movie. She says things such as “These guys eat too much red meat.” and “I can’t believe this macho bull shit.” that are also hilarious.
The suspense in this movie is Arnold trying to beat the clock. He has only ten hours to save his daughter before she is killed. This would normally be easy for Arnold to do, but he has no idea where they are, which means he has to track down one of the people who escorted them to the airport, go through a whole bunch of other people until he can finally find out where the villain’s head quarters are and go to the location on San Madrid to save his daughter. There is a lot of suspense because he almost doesn’t make it in time.
Some more suspense is caused when Arnold goes to the villains’ fortress and starts to blow things up. Bennet is waiting for him, and this causes some great tension between the two characters as they both prepare to face each other. You also can’t help but feel a little concerned for crazy Bennet, who makes the mistake of getting rid of his hostage and his gun. You just know after he throws away the hand gun and charges towards Arnold with a knife, that he is going to be screwed, but he does put up a better fight than you might think, probably because Arnold has already been shot in the shoulder and can only use one arm. However, if I were Bennet I’d grab myself a mini gun and plaster the area where Arnold is.
Arnold makes a great hero. He is in the prime of his life here. This is 1980s era Arnold Schwarzenegger, top of his game, and you know there is nothing that will stand in his way of saving his daughter. There is only one other noteworthy protagonist in this movie, the woman, who does not do much to help Arnold although she does help him escape from police by shooting their van with a rocket launcher and flies them in a small plane to the island where the villains are. She is also funny with her freaking out and humorous dialogue.
Most of the villains are diced through easily by Arnold including a green beret who lasts a long time against Arnold, but can barely lay a scratch on him. Bennet is by far the best villain in this movie. He manages to beat the crap out of Arnold until Arnold finally manages to get the upper hand. Bennet also takes a lot of abuse in the fight such as being electrocuted that doesn’t seem to slow the crazy guy down until he is finally dispatched by Arnold. “Let off some steam, Bennet.”
The music for this movie is fantastic. The steel drums add some great background music and really build up the mood of the movie when Arnold is chasing people around or gunning them down. Also, this movie like any great 1980s action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger ends with a great 1980s rock and roll song during the end credits called We Fight For Love by Power Station. Power Station was a short lived music group with Robert Palmer in it and they only made one notable song, which was for this movie.
Most of the settings in this movie are average. However, the villains’ base makes for a great place for Arnold to take down a whole bunch of soldiers. The villains’ base is definitely the most memorable setting in this movie and it helps to make for a great, memorable scene.
This movie is absolutely perfect in my opinion when it comes to a 1980s action movie. it has a strong hero, lots of action, lots of humor, some memorable villains and some great music particularly with the song during the end credits. It is certainly not the most professional movie ever, but it never seems to take itself too seriously either, which is great. As far as 1980s vintage action movies go, this is definitely one of the best there is.