Thursday, December 20, 2012

Commando (1985) Review:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is known to make fun and exciting action films. The best example would be based off "The Terminator" movies, but what ever appealed to him here in this film I'll never know. Schwarzenegger is John Matrix, an ex-military man who is just trying to get away from his previous career and live with his daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano). However, Matrix's past creeps up on him and his daughter is kidnapped and from there he vows to find any possible way of getting her back.

Schwarzenegger finally getting heavy duty......
(this is by the end of the film though)
Boy is Schwarzenegger one crazy hell of a father and this is where the movie goes downhill. To start off, it doesn't even make sense that John Matrix wants to live a normal life because if he did, he wouldn't be holding onto a shed full of machine guns. Yeah, he really let go of his career. Everything that Schwarzenegger does when it comes to action in this film is more berserk than constructed sequences. And just like some poorly made video game, Matrix is running around killing thousands of enemy soldiers all simultaneously shooting at him and he’s never badly hit once.

Along his mad dash to find his kidnapped daughter, Matrix runs into an innocent bystander named Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong) whom he convinces about the situation that he was forced into. Unfortunately Chong really doesn't give a believable performance. Not to mention but her character did not even excel the picture. She was there more for laughs,...for example, she's always worried and asking a lot of questions. I'm sure if her character was left out of the script, John Matrix still could have rescued his daughter no problem.

Vernon Wells as Bennett....not really that sinister looking
The villain behind Jenny's kidnapping is Arius played by Dan Hedaya who also doesn't give a real compelling show. His tone of voice doesn't change once during the whole movie. Boring. Vernon Wells plays Bennett, an egotistical ex-militant who once fought along side Matrix but then had a change in heart. It's one thing to see the protagonist, who is usually smaller, fight the antagonist, who is usually bigger. An example like this would be Sylvester Stallone's Cobra (1986). But here you have Schwarzenegger (HUGE) and Vernon Wells (forget small, he's not even muscular) go head-to-head. Is there even a question to who will win?....No!

Let's not forget now about continuity, dialog and film music. The continuity in this film is horrendous. There are several scenes where it is blatantly obvious that in between different cuts, there are two of the same different objects. Could it be anymore obvious? And how about that dialog? Much of it was just unnecessary. All Schwarzenegger does is make statements that are already known or obviously true. He drops a man,...his description, "I let him go",....really? Like the audience doesn’t know that?

Lastly, the most shocking part is the score composed by James Horner. Yes, the composer to Glory (1989), The Rocketeer (1991), The Mask of Zorro (1998), Bicentennial Man (1999), etc., which are all moving scores creates this synth type of music with steel drums that never end. It is more painful than screeching violins because it creates no tone for the scenes and there are times where there is no music at all where the points of conflict a rise the most. Truly disappointing experience from Horner.

Nothing works in this Schwarzenegger vehicle. The actors do not fit their characters, the music is poor and the action is brain-dead.

Points Earned --> 3:10

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