Sunday, October 22, 2006

Film Review: Commando (1985)

Before John Cena's recent attempt to foul our multiplexes with faux-tosterone, there was director Mark Lester's COMMANDO. Arnold hauls logs in the opening credits, cavorts with bubbly Alyssa Milano, teaches her some lighthearted karate, feeds a brazen deer out of his hand, and engages in all the trappings of good single-parenting permitted by a life spent undercover in the woods, with rogue agents wishing his death.

After a smattering of one-liners, Rae Don Chong, and a single-melody soundtrack consisting almost exclusively of steel drums punctuated by an impossibly sultry saxophone riff, Arnold annihilates a small south-american army holding his daughter hostage. Arms are severed, heads opened with sawblades, (spoiler alert!) and automatic weapons are gracefully emptied through scenic palatial flowerbeds. While glam rock with lyrics like "We fight for love" screams over the credits, Alyssa meets her new mommy, and Arnold's superior officer looks on knowingly, fondly, soundly confirming what we've come to learn in the past 80 minutes, "There goes one hell of a Commando."

We shall not see it's equal in our lifetimes. For John Cena has no bubbly daughter, nor logs to carry, or a new mom to bring home to his daughter through the course of his PG13 explosions and partial nudity. Joel Silver never resorted to such half-measures; but at least we have Arnold to keep our dvd players spinning.



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