Thursday, July 21, 2011

COMMANDO (1985) - Mark L. Lester

I can say this much for the 1985 pecs n' punchlines bullet-fest that is Commando: At least, it is short. At a swift 90 minutes, it's gets its run-of-the-mill kidnap/revenge scenario over with pretty quickly with minimal plot detours, maximum body count. I would call it "short and sweet," but the only thing "sweet" in this film might be the young fawn Schwarzenegger and daughter Alyssa Milano feed in soft focus at the film's beginning.

I would also call this early Arnie action extravaganza "efficient," but that wouldn't entirely be the case either. I expect ridiculous feats of human impossibility from my '80s action, but for a movie about an ace ex-Army commando his tactical skills are pretty damn weak. The dude has about five chances (and 11 hours) after he jumps from the plane to simply grab one of his shrimpy captors (a wonderful weasel David Patrick Kelly) and force him to take him to where they're hiding his daughter. Instead, he goes with this ass-backwards plan to use Rae Dawn Chong to lure him away (or something like that) which results in nothing but an hour of so of wrecked shopping malls, exploded buses and sporting goods stores. Eventually, "World War III" is waged on an rich dude's mansion/compound.

Arnie, have you ever heard the saying "take the longest route to go the shortest distance"? Yes, I know. If you didn't do it this way, the movie would probably end after about 25 minutes. So take my nit-picking with a grain of salt.

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