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  Commando
Mark L. Lester, USA, 1985
Rating: 3.1
 

Posted: December 14, 2002

If you want to see the world's most inept paramilitary force in action, you need look no further than to the soldiers trying to kill Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando. Before we get that far, let me give you the setup; the daughter of retired Colonel John Matrix (Arnold) is kidnapped by a Central American tyrant who plans a return to power. He's got to get Matrix to kill the current president for this to happen. If Matrix refuses, his daughter dies. Now, let me tell you where the movie really starts. Arnold tracks down his daughter to a small island and comes ashore with a rubber raft full of goodies. What follows is among the most famous (if not the most famous) "gun-strapping" sequences in cinematic history. Arnold goes on a tear loading pistols, popping magazines into assault rifles, thumbing 12 gauge rounds into a pump shotgun, carefully applying the mandatory camouflage face paint, attaching grenades to his vest -- and last, but not least, slinging the obligatory rocket launcher over his shoulder. Equipped with this 825 lbs of gear, he sets off after the men who took his daughter. Luckily, the opposing force is all too willing to step into lines of machine gun fire, stand idly by while grenades fly toward them and get beaten with garden tools that Arnold finds in a shed. (That's just uncalled for. You bring all the hardware and end up beating some guy with a rake? Just ain't right. What kind of war story will that guy have?) If you can read this, chances are you can figure out how it all ends without too much trouble. Once a film has shrugged off the possibility of being serious, anything goes. Commando is a lead-flyin', high body count shoot-em-up, and an entertaining one. It's like ice cream; not a heavy meal, but it tastes good and puts a smile on your face. And sometimes, that's good enough.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

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