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Directed By: Mark L. Lester

The Story
I would best describe Commando as an old school "Taken" on steroids. But instead of a 60 year old Liam Neeson trying to save his daughter, we now had a bulging Arnold Schwarzenegger bursting out of top. Oh did i mention that Arnie's character John Matrix can lift tree trucks, jump of a plane, rip car seats out, and deliver quality one liners (put that in a pipe and smoke it Neeson). Anyway, Commando doesn't have the most original story. It also doesn't have the best cast or performances, but it's so damn fun it doesn't matter. It's 80's action at it's very finest.

Movie Trivia;
In 1986, a sequel was written by Steven E. de Souza, and revised by Frank Darabont, with an eye to having John McTiernan direct. The script was based on the book 'Nothing Lasts Forever' (1979) by Roderick Thorp, but Schwarzenegger wasn't interested in reprising the role. The script was then reworked with a new central character, eventually played by Bruce Willis, and became Die Hard (1988). The plot of the abandoned sequel would had seen Matrix being hired by a big corporation to oversee their security to protect their executives from being kidnapped. To stop people breaking into their building and to make sure their computers are secure. So he sets it up and hires the most dangerous people to be guards in the building and then lo and behold - he discovers the people he's working for are in the illegal arms business and the big corporation is a simply a front. The end of the movie would see Jenny and Cindy, who is now a lawyer, trapped in the building and Matrix now has to defeat all the people he hired - all the meanest, toughest guards - as well as the security systems, the guard dogs, everything.

The shopping mall (Sherman Oaks Galleria) used is the same one that was used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since both films wrapped, the mall has been remodeled.

Vernon Wells wasn't the original actor cast to play Bennett. He did audition for the role, lost to another. On the first day of filming, however, director Mark L. Lester fired the other actor and hired Wells. This is the reason that Bennett's clothes seem so tight, because Wells was bigger than the original actor, and the production didn't have time to make a new costume. Over the years, a rumor has developed that Wells originally auditioned for the part of Matrix, but this is false.

The Cast
Watching this movie again i couldn't help but laugh at how bad the cast and their performances actually are. Arnie is awful, and his one liners are truly cringey. I remember reading trivia about this movie and seeing something about how the studio didn't even want Arnie to speak at all.... i wonder why . Rae Dawn Chong was funny in parts, but more annoying than anything. And Vernon Wells as Bennett looks like he came straight from the gay bar in police academy. Little grey netted vest, and a 80's porno mustache makes Bennett look like the gayest bad guy ever. But again who cares, all of the above means nothing when the movie still worked.

Movie Highlight
My movie highlight has got to be the ending. I love it when they go midnight shopping for guns and Matrix gears himself up for all out war. Old school action movies were the best at delivering their final showdowns, and Commando certainly doesn't disappoint.

My Verdict
Overall Commando is great fun. It's exciting, it's cheesy, it's action packed, it's everything we love about 80's action movies. Sure, it's not the best movie in terms of performances, and dialogue, but who cares. Sometimes switching off and losing yourself in these movies is exactly what you need.