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"It was a very dark place. Afterwards, I would go back to my hotel room and roll on the floor and shout and spit to put that guy away"  -Javier Bardem on his role as baddie Chigurh in No Country For Old Men
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SYNOPSIS: When sleazy South American political hopeful (Dan Hedaya) wants a president knocked off he decides to kidnap ex-special forces colonel John Matrix's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) daughter and trade her life in return for a successful hit down south.

"Perversely enjoyable thrills await those willing to go with the spirit of this campy exercise in machismo starring the only actor to have a national sports stadium named after him. You'll find the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Vienna; here you'll find the actor once described as resembling "a condom full of walnuts" on the trail of the low-lifes who've kidnapped his daughter. After the forgettable Red Sonja (1985) Arnie got the buzzcut back and returned to more secure ground as ex-special forces colonel and one-man killing machine John Matrix (great name!).

The action kicks in with three apparently unrelated executions before cutting to Matrix's well appointed and leave all that government sanctioned slaughter behind. He's of course trapped in the Hotel California situation familiar to all movie soldiers - i.e. "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." When sleazy South American political hopeful (Dan Hedaya) wants a president knocked off he decides to kidnap Matrix's daughter and trade her life in return for a successful hit down south. Cue Matrix's revenge.

There you have the none-too complex plot that serves as a showcase for plenty of mindless violence, heavy weapon use and explosions. So bad it's good comic relief is supplied by Arnie's repartee with Rae Dawn Chong, playing an airline stewardess whose initial displeasure at having her car commandeered by Matrix turns into enthusiastic participation once the bullets start flying. Watching her fire a rocket launcher backwards is just one of the wacky highlights in a film that doesn't take itself seriously for a moment.

Commando was directed by venerable B-grade maestro Mark L. Lester, whose filmography includes $1 Weekly video hire favourites such as Class of 1984, Class of 1999, Firestarter and Truck Stop Women. Lester delivers as many cheap thrills as you could wish for in 88 minutes of no-nonsense action filmmaking. You'll cringe at Dan Hedaya's ridiculous Spanish accent and Australian actor Vernon Wells' feeble attempt at playing Hedaya's chief henchman but it only adds to the fun as the body count mounts. Although this is rated R it appears to have been trimmed of a few gory shots and Arnie buffs should hire before they buy just to make sure. Art it aint but Commando is a lot of fun if you're in the mood for a no-brainer. There are no special features apart from the trailer, but who'd want any?"
Richard Kuipers

Published April 26, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

(US 1985)

CAST: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya, Alyssa Milano,Vernon
DIRECTOR: Mark L. Lester

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: March 14 2001

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