January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Hmmm…it won’t be easy to use an entire paragraph to summarize this movie, since no one seems to let the story get in the way of the action. But since I have such a fondness for the movie, I will march on, and paraphrase the very best I can. Retired Colonel John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is just trying to relax and enjoy his retirement with his daughter (Alyssa Milano), but things aren’t that simple for the ex-commando. He is forced to put down the lemonade and pick up some big guns when his daughter is kidnapped. While the men tell him to stay put for further instructions, Matrix has no such plans, and opts to fight his way to his daughter before it is too late. He has a little under eleven hours to escape from the plane bound for South America, track down the location of his daughter, and rescue her, which will be no easy task. In the process, he manages to make a friend in a flight attendant (Rae Dawn Chong), who is not just easy on the eyes, but also good with a plane. Matrix is tough as nails, but can even he overcome odds like this?

There are two basic types of action movies. You have those which masquerade as serious movies, then you have movies which just give up and use senseless violence to entertain us. Commando is not only part of the second group, it is the definitive entry in it. This movie makes no bones about what it is, simply allowing Arnold to wander about, killing everyone that stands in his way. He throws saw blades, uses a rocket launcher, breaks necks, and even tosses someone off of a cliff, and that’s just the beginning. By the time the film is over, the body count is higher than an entire small country’s population, and Matrix ends up facing and entire army of soldiers. One man, a whole lot of guns, and a will, that’s all this movie needs to make magic happen. The pace is quick and brutal, very little time elapses between action sequences, which is good, because this isn’t the type of movie where you want long pauses. If you want see Arnold do things only Arnold can do, this is the movie to pick up. Anyone looking for an action movie that features great fights, plenty of gunfire, and even an awesome car chase, head on out and throw this disc on the counter, action doesn’t get much better than this.

This film was directed by Mark L. Lester, but I don’t think much motivation was needed, since anyone who was in Arnold’s way just held a gun for a second, then fell to the ground. Although I do think perhaps Arnold needed guidance on where to put the emphasis in his one liners. Lester’s other directorial credits include Armed & Dangerous, Firestarter, and The Base. The only man who could play this role is Arnold, and he does an amazing job of bringing Matrix to life. Sure, not much depth is needed, but who else can take on an army single handedly and seem realistic? Arnold is the man when it comes to action, and his work here is some of his best. The one liners are corny but funny, and I hope he makes another violence soaked movie like this just for nostalgia’s sake. If you liked Commando, make sure to check out Predator, The Running Man, and Last Action Hero, other Arnold classics. Others featured in this movie include Alyssa Milano (Hugo Pool, Tv’s Who’s The Boss), James Olson (The Andromeda Strain), Vernon Wells (The Road Warrior, Space Truckers), Rae Dawn Chong (Hideaway, American Flyers), and Dan Hedaya (A Night At The Roxbury, Dick).

Video: How does it look?

Commando is shown here in a non anamorphic widescreen transfer, which is framed at the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This is very good looking version of the film, but some over enhancement gives some scenes a distracting appearance. The colors, especially the green shades, look good, with no errors to be found, even flesh tones are looking sharp. The contrast also is in good shape, with no overly light or dark regions. It’s not that this transfer is bad, but it doesn’t take advantage of the format.

Audio: How does it sound?

Since the track offered is not a full 5.1 track, the audio lacks a deep punch, but still sounds good. This is an action flick, so whether guns are firing or saw blades are being thrown, the audio comes through like a nuclear bomb, loud and in your face. Dialogue isn’t really used much, but when it does appear, the one liners are loud and clear.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The disc contains the original theatrical trailer.

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