A perfect engine of meaningless destruction, "Commando" followed Arnold Schwarzenegger's breakthrough hit "The Terminator" by less than a year.
Even though he played a villain in the latter, he imported his signature moves and performance tics into the role of a stoic meat-slab trying to save his daughter from Latin American death squads and their mercenaries.
From the instant that Arnie made his entrance in "Commando," clomping through a forest with a chainsaw in his right hand and a giant log on his oiled left bicep, you knew you were watching a film that was in on its own joke—and in case you weren't convinced.
The film had its hero row to the final showdown in a Speedo. There are jokes in the script about red meat and macho b.s., but they're mainly in there so the film can wallow in the things it decries.
There are jokes in the script about red meat and macho b.s., but they're mainly in there so the film can wallow in the things it decries. "Commando" might be the first entirely postmodern action thriller, serving up many of the cliches that audiences saw in "Rambo.
First Blood Part II" four months earlier (including close-ups of a glistening muscleman strapping on weapons) but putting a half-mocking spin on them. As a man sitting in front of me shrieked delightedly to his date, right after Vernon Wells.
Schwarzenegger's predatory squint comes from Eastwood. So does his sneering delivery of kiss-off lines and his willingness to play characters so adept at killing that they seem more like John Carpenter horror movie stalker-creatures than traditional leading men.
Commando is as knowingly unreal as some of the best 1980s Hong Kong action classics.
Like those films, this one is essentially a comedy with a body count; the bit where Matrix swings across a shopping mall atrium like Tarzan might be an homage to the most famous stunt in Jackie Chan's "Police Story.
Die Hard" cowriter Steven E. De Souza and "Class of 1984" director Mark Lester have a knack for setting up preposterous sight gags and groan-worthy jokes, then cutting away from them so quickly that you can't help but laugh.
About the most exciting twelve hours in a woman's life. Even if the two don't end up married after the final credits fade, I bet they keep in touch. Maybe Cindy attends Jenny's high school graduation and gives her a card with a drawing of a seaplane on it.

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