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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 28.95%
Average: 11.84%
Pretty Bad: 10.53%
Total Crap: 6.58%

1 review, 70 user ratings

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by Paulapalooza

"THIS is the perfect Arnold movie. Trust me."
4 stars

Action movies of the 80’s are a special beast indeed. Uncomplicated, unoriginal, and unctuous in their righteous love of violence as the solution to every problem, they nevertheless revel in their gratuitousness and take audiences on one hell of a ride, time after time. And nobody but nobody could top Arnold at this game…and COMMANDO is the movie where, for my money, he shotgunned Chuck Norris’ INVASION USA ass and forcefed it to Stallone’s COBRA along with a bundle of K-rations and concussion grenades. Cheap and laughable as it is, COMMANDO crowned a new A –list king of gouda and gunshots and shake-and-baked a formula for bad action movies which remains if not gold, then at least silver-plated, to this day.

Flashback to 1984: CONAN THE BARBARIAN had been a hit, but there was no real dialogue to be found in that one. TERMINATOR was a smash (and would become a phenomenon on video and cable), and it showcased Arnold’s imposing presence while leaving the acting to Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. If we forget about RED SONJA, and, yes, let’s, COMMANDO was the first Arnold vehicle to prove he could juggle the spotlight, a big hunk of verbal exposition, and a battery of NATO and Warsaw pact weaponry within 90-120 minutes.

The plot is as thin as an Elite model after a black tar bender, but it’s got all the little checkpoints that make the action genre tolerable to those who actually LIKE a story. Silly government intrigue that’s little more than a cheap plot device as played out by Dan Hedaya---check. The lone good guy badass special ops war hero coaxed out of retirement---yep. A bevy of low-rent bad guys, including one weaselly runt and another a counter-badass from good badass’ war days---gotcha. The hottie who helps him out under duress ‘cause it’s the “right thing to do”---oh yeah, thanks Rae Dawn Chong. The cute plot point who happens to be the kidnapped daughter as played by Alyssa “you know she’s gonna be a hottie one day and will play that Rae Dawn Chong role herself” Milano. Gore, violence, and three guys falling down from the force of one bullet? Hell yes, Beelzebub. Lots of MacGyver meets Dahmer-type pragmatism when Arnold gets locked in the woodshed with a passel of lawn-tending products? Oh my Lord jump up and speak in tongues in the affirmative of your high, holy mission, huzzah!

And need I mention the one-liners? Yeah, Arnie had given us “I’ll be back” and that whole “drive your enemies before you, hear the lamentations of the women” speech in the original CONAN, but this is the movie wherein he became the one-liner EMPEROR of a generation, and one-liners became the rival currency of bullets in over-the-top actioners. Before there was Bruce Vilanch, there was Jeph Loeb, screenwriter of COMMANDO, comic book writer and zinger king extraordinaire. When Arnold (ok, his character is named John Matrix….hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!) throws a large industrial pipe right through the counter-badass’ chest and copious amounts of superheated water spew out of the front of said pipe and Arnold tells the counter-badass to “Let off some steam, Bennett,” you wonder why in God’s name the MTV movie awards weren’t around to award SOMETHING to SOMEBODY. I’m not picky…Best Diction by a former Austrian weightlifter, Best Non-Nude Scene by Rae Dawn Chong, Best Soon-To-Be Amazing Hot Chick to Alyssa….I DON”T CARE! SOMEONE PLEASE REWARD THIS FILM THE GRUDGING RESPECT IT DESERVES!!!!

If you look at Arnold’s track record, most of his movies are, well, for shit. Outside the TERMINATORS, there’s little to speak well of other than “It was cool watching him blow up that guy/truck/building/continent.” (Don’t get me started on the sad little movie called TRUE LIES, either, Arnie defenders). But with this movie and PREDATOR, Arnold has no pretensions of being a fully rounded actor, or a big, walking visual gag. He kicked some ass, mispronounced some names, and made a B-grade movie on an A-budget, and, damn it, we loved him for it!

I used to be a movie snob, and I thought this was a steaming pile of hairy toffee, but then I saw it as a perfect melding of purpose and execution, a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, and hits or surpasses every mark it sets for itself. Who gives a wet slap if it aims low? I’ll bet Lee Harvey Oswald aimed low, and now everybody knows who HE is!

Where’s the sequel? Arnold passes the wetworks mantle to a catsuit-clad Alyssa Milano and her partners, Tera Patrick and Brooke Burke! Salma Hayek can be Dan Hedaya’s vengeful daughter! Get to work on it, Hollywood. Hot women kicking ass equals dollars!

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originally posted: 06/18/02 09:14:38
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell great popcorn flick 4 stars
3/30/16 Aj wales Slick never boring action. 4 stars
6/20/10 Jeff Wilder One of the most purely fun movies ever. 4 stars
6/06/09 matt "Did you leave anything for us?" "Just bahdies." classic 5 stars
1/20/08 Pamela White Arnold is raw 4 stars
5/31/07 ProSneakyD It's Arnie with guns & explosions, action all the way, cheesy but it's a BLAST!!! 5 stars
3/20/07 Abs All the killing is mildly interesting to watch once a year or so. 3 stars
2/06/07 action movie fan great guy movie--very good in all ways-one of 85,s best 5 stars
1/10/07 Stefan Halka Good action, but the script is just average. 3 stars
8/05/06 danthewrestlingman No Fuck You Asshole 5 stars
7/22/06 R.W.Welch Nothing serious here, just flat-out action. Does have some good one-liners. 3 stars
5/13/06 ES Thank god for bullet proof flowers 4 stars
10/27/05 chris arnies did it again!! 5 stars
9/22/05 Nick Arnold at his best, kicking some ass 5 stars
6/08/05 Indrid Cold I don't know why this has become such a cult classic. It's a cheap, boring, 80s crapfest. 2 stars
4/04/05 Ric The most entertaining mindless action flick ever made! Great one-liners, shootouts, fights 5 stars
3/13/05 Ronin Rambo is much better I still enjoy watching it. Commando WAS fun when I WAS a kid. 2 stars
12/02/04 Green Gremlin repugnant 1 stars
11/17/04 varyouga Holy Shit. Only Ahnold can shoot a quad rocket launcher and gun at the same time. AWESOME 5 stars
7/04/04 Daveman A very bad film on every conventional level, but I'd recommend it to b-movie enthusiasts 1 stars
5/12/04 your movie is lovely 2 stars
4/05/04 R.W. Welch Standard actioner has a couple good bits, but mostly routine. 3 stars
2/01/04 I Would Fantastically shit. I love it. 3 stars
1/22/04 y2mckay Cool in it's day, but has aged badly. Vernon Wells was a fun villain, though. 3 stars
12/09/03 john the kind of silly action movie Die Hard did away with for a while two years later 2 stars
10/31/03 Sugarfoot The humor fails so bad that it becomes funny again. Good action also. 3 stars
8/08/03 3man "Remember when I told you I'd kill you last? I lied." 4 stars
8/01/03 Eric One of Arnold's most enjoyable movies, a rollercoaster blast. 5 stars
7/05/03 your worst goddamn nightmare Ahnold at his finest! Such an awesome, funny, exiting movie! Special effects look funny now 5 stars
6/22/03 cochese A classic must see!!!! "Where's Sully?" "I let him go." hahahaha 5 stars
4/13/03 Dr. Zinn Awesome action flick. Trashy and fun. Arnold is great! 5 stars
2/19/03 Big Eric Gladstone the character development in this film is extraordinary–cooke, bennett, matrix. Brilliant 5 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Mammothly entertaining. A rollicking, funny great time! 5 stars
8/17/02 Zefram Mann "I can't believe all this macho bullshit!" LOL!!! 5 stars
6/06/02 zotteLORRE ya've got to love the lame oneliners 4 stars
5/27/02 figurehead we'll take cook's car. he won't be needing it. 5 stars
5/26/02 Chowie Remember when I promised to kill u last????? I LIED! 4 stars
4/05/02 J Not bad, pretty much a decent action movie. 3 stars
3/29/02 Evan The Critic This is one of Arnolds greatest films from the 80's. Better than Rambo! A 'must see'! 4 stars
3/05/02 clawx eh? take it or leave it 2 stars
1/05/02 Andrew Carden You Just Want Arnold To Freakin Die In It. 1 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 hilarious, one of my faves 4 stars
10/25/01 bulletproof_shoes 6'4 brown hair ONE GIGANTIC MOTHER FUCKER!! 5 stars
10/25/01 shep_ramsay NO CHANCE 5 stars
8/24/01 Andrew Reggio Brilliant!!!!!! 5 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Teen Movie Critic fucked that comment up, I thought, save for some corniness,it was great. 4 stars
8/04/01 Edwin Menguin How camp is that villain with his lovely tache', ooh chase me Arnie 2 stars
6/11/01 fifu alright som parts just horrible 3 stars
5/27/01 eisaaholmoilla Only a true commando can have a gun that consumes a negative amount of ammo! 5 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart As a kid all I cared for in a movie was violence...this movie delivers. Great memories!!! 5 stars
2/19/01 INCUBATOR I`ve grown up with this movie cuse it was the only movie I had 5 stars
12/24/00 bub my greatest childhood memory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/12/00 Jplindsey@hotmail.Com FUNNIEST MOVIE I EVER SEEN. 5 stars
12/02/00 Phil HILARIOUS! 5 stars
11/24/00 fffre it is a parody of rambo-great!!! 5 stars
10/31/00 joe mind-numbingly corny and stupid! 1 stars
10/12/00 Phil "Let off some steam, Bennet" 5 stars
10/10/00 will coombs wicked 5 stars
6/24/00 Naushad Khanji Entertaining,but can't hide the truth that Arnie can't act. 4 stars
4/28/00 JDC HILARIOUS."Sully, remember when I said I'd kill you last? I LIED!" 5 stars
4/23/00 Jed (2.5 out of 5 stars) Mere passable arnie fare 2 stars
4/16/00 chris gordon A film with political undertones about the cold war and the US's arrogance. 4 stars
1/14/00 Fuck Yeah!! This is the movie that got me hooked on action.Watch it and you'll know why!! 5 stars
6/10/99 Homer J. Simpson "bennet I,ll be back","i'll be waiting jon,fucking great 5 stars
3/11/99 little jerry Not very classy but entertaining.Has what should be Arnie's classic line-"I LET HIM GO". 4 stars
1/12/99 demon_shredder "I eat Green Barrets for breakfast." 5 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob If only they could make a 'Captain America' film THIS good. Stupid, yet engaging action. 4 stars
10/25/98 Lord Of The Dunce So stupid. Bullets never hit Arnold and what's with the big chin guy?! Lame. 2 stars
9/16/98 Trav Just watch this for the "car drives 100 MPH into pole" scene. It's typical 80's no-brain. 4 stars
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  04-Oct-1985 (R)



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