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This is the definitive review of Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. No other website reviews even come close.

Genocide - the American way.

Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fuck Yeah.

Commando is legendary. I'm not kidding here - inside these 90 minutes of cinematic vomit lie some of the cheesiest, most un-intentionally hilarious dredge ever committed to celluloid. It's a well known fact that action movies are dumb. Very dumb. But this sets the benchmark to which all plotless kill-fests aspire. Having a Death By Cinema section that didn't include this gem would be like having a porno with no boobies.

Welcome one and all to the dumbest shitfest to ever burden the world of cinema.

You see, this isn't set in reality like most movies. Hell no. This movie creates its own new world where pointless genocide is encouraged, where muscle-clad homo-erotic boneheads wander about shirtless without being laughed at. This is a world where one bullet can kill five people. This is a world where poorly trained henchmen can let off 3,000 rounds of live ammo without coming close to hitting their target, despite being just six feet away from the enemy.

This is a world where, in the event of being shot, one must hold their chest (despite being shot in the head,) do a triple backflip off a high rooftop, then run off only to be shot again, this time wearing a fake beard and an eyepatch. Welcome everybody... to the world of Commando.
Let me illustrate my point by saying that it takes just 1min 58secs for someone to die. I'm not kidding - they really don't mess about with any of that nonsense like plot or character building. Hell, why have crap like that when you can have bullet-ridden corpses?!

Random violence.

They're not even at the opening credits yet, and already the bodies begin to pile up. We're treated to an opening sequence where many people are murdered in new and imaginative ways. Click on an image to enlarge:
Random violence in Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - click to enlarge.
2min 53sec: A used car salesman tries flogging his wares to a mysterious angry looking baddie, who calmly climbs into the car, starts up the engine and turns the poor bastard into road pizza. Why didn't he just shoot the salesman? Coz that'd be too easy...

Random violence in Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - click to enlarge.
Unlike our first hapless victim, however, this guy actually bleeds. Apparently going through a shop window wounds you more than 347 gunshot wounds. Notice how elaborate this death is - simply poisoning his coffee wouldn't be macho enough.
Random violence in Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - click to enlarge.
3min 55sec: A man with a hilarious handle-bar moustache gets onto a boat, sees a bald black man in a suit, winks at him then goes to sea. Suddenly... BOOM! The Freddy Mercury lookalike is toast. Or is he?! (Cue Twilight Zone theme.)

Even Schwarzenegger looks like he's holding back the puke.
Sick bags on standby...
Next up we see John Matrix / Arnie walking through the woods with a huge, surprisingly phallic log over one shoulder and a chainsaw in his hand. Cue several pointless and slightly nauseating close ups of his big sweaty muscles. You know, just to make this picture a little more sleazy and erotic. We see him here playing with his daughter (who is somehow out-acted by Arnie - a feat which carries the death penalty in most third world countries.)

By the way - you can tell Arnie is the main character here - he's been on screen for more than 60 seconds and is still alive.

The makers of this "movie" decided that this was the correct time to throw in a nauseatingly cheesy montage of Matrix and his daughter being all lovey and close. They laugh together, swim together, eat "mystery sandwiches" together, the works. And after about two minutes of this bilge I honestly wanted the annoying little bitch to die. Also, throughout the movie we never see a mother, leading me to believe that Arnie bought the little shit on eBay.
Suddenly Matrix leaps to his feet, hearing choppers coming. It turns out to be a visit from his mentor / superior / homosexual love-buddy General Cirby. (Think Colnel Troutman from Rambo, but nowhere near as cool.) He informs Matrix that his whole division has been killed off and that he's next! Ooooh!

With all his friends in the world dead, Matrix reacts to the news by frowning slightly and strutting around a bit. Most people would be upset at the mindless slaughter of all their worldly friends - Schwarzenegger instead offers us a look of mild constipation. Cirby leaves two poorly trained extras to bodyguard Matrix because the forces of evil are on their way. Having the misfortune of not having any meaningful lines, you can just tell death is imminent for the poor bastards.
The General leaves, and cue an attack from your usual terrorists in sheepskin leather jackets. Machine gun fire is everywhere, glass breaks, blood flies (good night Soldier #1, who lasted approximately 18.47 seconds.)

Matrix gets his daughter inside. He had the edge on them, you see - he could smell them coming. (I'm not kidding.) Which is interesting considering they were hidden in the bushes all the time The General was about. Maybe Cirby's Cologne drowned them out. Maybe all our hero could smell was macho bullshit.

We'll never know.
Understandably pissed, Matrix rushes upstairs into a little room he has that's literally stacked wall-to-wall with machine guns. It's like an NRA wet dream. Christ only knows why he has so many guns - perhaps the deer round there are really aggressive. Meanwhile daddy's little girl hides under the bed. Her imminent abduction leaves no-one surprised.

Machine gun in hand, Matrix rushes across the rooftop to retrieve his daughter, only to find Inept Soldier #2 with his throat cut. As to why the assassins dragged the corpse up two sets of stairs just to prop him against the bedroom window is never explained. (That's body #5 for all you corpse-counters out there.) Matrix doesn't seem to mind, so neither will I.
Commando: Schwarzenegger doesn't know the meaning of 'negotiate'
In the bedroom we find the main evil sheepskin wearing terrorist, who calmly informs Matrix that if he doesn't co-operate, they'll kill his little girl. With his daughter's safety first and foremost in mind, Arnie does what we all would in that situation... and shoots him in the face! Woo hoo! Another victory for American diplomacy.

Arnie gives chase to the villainous evildoers who've taken his daughter. He rams them off the road (in a truck with no breaks and a dead engine, no less) and somehow neither Matrix nor the evil kidnappers have a scratch on them. That is... until the resulting fight scene in which Matrix goes hulka and smacks the living shit out of everyone! Inevitably, somehow the baddies get the upper hand, and we see the dude who died on the boat (the one with the ridiculous moustache) fire a tranquilliser dart into Arnie's face. Nice.

When he awakens, he is told he must assassinate some foreign president with an unpronounceable name so the movie's unconvincing shady dictator can take over. He agrees, and they put him on a plane. And that's when the real killing starts. One by one, Matrix must take out the evil henchmen, before they kill his daughter.

More random violence.

The first henchman to die: a snappily dressed hobo looking fool, whose name I've since forgotten. (Not that this sharply dressed gibbon ever actually mattered anyway...)
We can already tell that Matrix is the kinda guy who kills for fun, who could invade a whole country single-handed - a man who could fist fight a grizzly bear without getting a scratch. So what do our over-confident evildoers do? Put him on a plane guarded by just one inept hobo. Nice one guys. That'll keep him in check.

"Any luggage" asks the stewardess. "Just him" cracks Arnie. Hobo doesn't appreciate the humour, threatening to nail Matrix's mouth shut. Calmly, Matrix asks for a blanket and a pillow. When she turns her back, he eblows Hobo in the face, killing him instantly.
Putting the blanket and pillow over the body, Matrix then says to the stewardess "please don't wake my friend; he's dead tired." Oh ho ho ha ha ha! That one had me in stitches for weeks.

Matrix's next miracle is then to leap out of the back of a moving aeroplane during takeoff. (Again, I'm not kidding.) He climbs out through the back, onto the wheel. We're then treated to a motion shot of someone who looks vaguely like Mel Gibson clinging on for dear life. Click here to see what I mean. Unfazed by the certain death that surrounds him if he makes one wrong move, he waits until about 70 feet in the air before letting go. He falls through the air, then lands at a completely different angle, at a completely different speed, in a completely different place. Drenched and covered head to toe in wet shit, our hero runs into the distance. We see him 5 seconds later completely dry. This really is cinema at it's best. (Or maybe not...)

Even more violence.

Next up for the chop: Sally. The man with the woman's name.

Earlier in this stinker of a movie, Matrix told a man called Sally that he liked him (in a very macho, non-gay way I'm sure) and that he'd kill him last. That was until he became second in line for a pointlessly elaborate and strangely hilarious death.
After his swim, Matrix darts across the airport in search of Sally. A chase involving Sal's fancy yellow Porche ensues (which revels in the kind of cheesyness not seen since Hercules In New York).

Finally the Porche tips, and Arnie grabs him by the leg and dangles Sal over the edge of a conveniently placed cliff face. You can't help by this point notice that it's night time - despite it being daylight when the chase began.

And... as soon as the scene is done, it's daylight again. Either a huge fault in the film, or they're in The Matrix. You decide.
Oh, and just to totally ruin the credibility of this film, the Porche is in pristine condition in the next scene, despite being rammed off the road and wrecked here. Hmmm... Back to the cliff edge and Sally spills the beans. "Remember when I said I'd kill you last?" ponders Arnie. Sally squeals like a little girl. "Yeah... you did!" Cue cheesy close up of Arnie's face: "I LIED!" That one was so funny it had me in tears... and just to prove to the world what a genocidal maniac he is, Matrix drops Sally off the edge of the cliff. Maybe he'll come back in the sequel with a mechanical gun-arm and an eyepatch - we can only hope.

With the only likeable part of the movie gone splat, Matrix wanders over to an annoying sub-human gibbon he recently kidnapped for no apparent reason. "What did you do with Sally?" she asks. "I let him go!" Boasts Arnie, pun-master extrodinaire. Oh the humour. Christ only knows why Arnie's comedy movies ALL FAILED. Jesus H Christ - that one's so bad it should come with a government health warning.

And so on...

I could go on for ages, showing you all the hilariously crap ins and outs of this monolithic orgy of shit, but I wont - doing so would require volumes bigger than the Bible. Besides, I don't want to ruin it for you. Needless to say, after killing a rather mixed and inept line of henchmen and picking up some embarassingly obvious clues, Martix finds his way to the baddie's lair. Which turns out to look like some kind of second-rate holiday resort. A shame really - I was hoping for an evil fortress atop a lightning-wrapped mountain. We'll get to that in a moment.

The goodies.

This flick has all the goodies you'd expect to see in a meaty, macho, mindless, dumb, plotless, cheesy 80's kill-fest. This one in particular has everything a growing boy needs, including (click on an image to enlarge):

Painfully convenient clues.

Laughably unrealistic violence.


Kickass explosions.

Arnie going HULKA!

More guns.
To be fair, the stunts in Commando are actually pretty good.
Pointlessly elaborate stunts.
There's nothing Arnold Schwarzenegger loves more than getting his tits out.
Nauseating muscle shots.

Even more guns.

Pointless fake titty flashing.

Annoying little shits.

And an annoying sidekick who
just won't die, no matter
how much you wish for it.

The final slaughter.

Because you can't spell 'slaugther' without 'laughter'.

Finally the trail leads to a glorified holiday resort where Matrix's daughter is being held. He goes about blowing shit up and shooting everybody - all this before the war on terror (perhaps Arnie was a visionary?) He places ball bearing firing personnel mines, which for some reason make the whole place explode.

He uses approximately 18 different machine guns despite only bringing two. He blows up every single building without even bothering to check if his daughter is inside. Oh, and despite the body count for this sequence being in the high-millions, he seems to be shooting the same people over and over. Btw: did you know that 30% of all evil terrorists wear fake beards? You heard it first here, folks. Here's how the massacre unfolds, corpse by corpse:
A reader emailed in to say there's a Director's Cut of Commando where EVEN MORE PEOPLE DIE. We'd buy it, but that would mean actually spending money on this piece of shit film.
And last but not least...
That last one is the movie's evil dictator guy biting the bullet. Or bullets, should I say, as he catches approximately three shotgun shells with his chest, crashes through a window, before falling in slow motion onto the garden outside. Very flashy. They did things thoroughly in those days it seems. I was half hoping for a shot at the end of the movie where the general's bloody hand breaks through the rubble, lubeing us up for a sequel. Although quite how they'd top this bloodbath is a mystery. Matrix vs. The Lebanese Army perhaps? How about Matrix Kills Alaska? Hmmm...
As you can tell from the rather entertaining pictorial above, the body count in this one is a tad high. 75 corpses, and we're not even at the end yet. The climax to this movie is the stuff of Gods, as Arnie single-handedly wipes out the whole Cuban army. There are times when five men have him dead bang and all he has is a rose bush for cover, yet the 376,108.4 bullets fired at him all somehow miss, slamming the living crap out of the fence behind him. Meanwhile our intrepid adventurer somehow flattens all five with just three bullets. He must be using the same magic bullets that killed Kennedy.

This scene really is amazing - he blows up buildings and they explode three or four times, their cardboard walls no match for the wall of flame that rages from inside (even though the bombs were placed outside - these must be those seldom seen prototypes which grow legs and walk.) It is clear that by this point the movie's budget was running a little thin, as rather than use stuntmen in explosions, we clearly see bronze figurines. Instead of hiring a whole battalion of extras, the producers simply got some schmoes from the street and had them fall and die unconvincingly (often with no blood, and in the wrong direction.) Only seconds later you see the same extra back again, albeit with some unconvincing moustache and a scar.

What's next?

One thing that's surprised me is that there has been no sequel to this pointless death factory. Which is unusual, considering how producers usually don't let a mere technicality such as the original feature being embarrassingly shit from stopping them producing a whole cheesy string of sequels. Always eager to get the ball rolling, I've come up with some ideas for sequels, guaranteed to draw in the big bucks:

Comando vs Godzilla!

Comando vs Dangermouse!

Comando vs Optimus Prime!

Comando vs Mr T!

The Bennett factor.

You may have got the jist by now - Commando is bad. Really bad. I would even go as far as to say that this movie is the very embodiment of cheesy. One of the main reasons for this is it's main bad guy character Bennett. (You may remember him as the Freddy Mercury looking wierdo briefly mentioned at the start of this review.) Arguably the most comical and most homo-erotic baddie in movie history, Bennett deserves a section all of his own.

Why? Because he posesses something which no other Hollywood bad guy in history has ever had...

Bennett: the undisputed king of bling.
It's a known fact that the 80's did for fashion what Sarin Gas does for lungs. But even at its lowest ebb, surely the Decade Of Destruction would have struggled to top this... abomination.

The key to an effective bad guy is the ability to scare an audience. Dr Hannibal Lecter, for example, scared the shit out of cinema-goers for well over a decade. This was because Hannibal is a mind-bending evil genius who stalks his victims and then eats them.

The geniuses behind Commando tried to top this with a homo-looking gibbon monkey. Oh, and don't tell anyone, but that moustache hanging from his face is actually alive. Let's see what kind of garb this awe-inspiring mountain of cool has to offer:

  • Chainmail.
  • Leather trousers.
  • Even worse facial hair than Mr T.
  • A penchant for scaring children.
  • More chainmail.
  • A healthy dose of mascara, to accentuate those devious bad-guy eyes of his.
  • Dog tags, complete with a dog chain.
  • Less muscle mass than the average 12 year old girl.
  • The acting ability of a used tampon.
  • The kind of slutty leather boots normally associated with my ex-girlfriends.
  • Even more chainmail.

"I'll be back... Bennett!" (Actual movie quote.)
If you got bitten by either Bennett or Hannibal, which would scare you most? Wait... don't answer that. Let's face it - Bennett is about as terrifying as the gimp from Pulp Fiction. I reckon they both had the same tailor. All is confirmed when it turns out Bennett turned down $100,000 for his part in this evil scheme - he offered to do it for free so long as he "Got his hands on" Matrix. Hmmm... It is never explained why Bennett has such a thing against Matrix. Perhaps a shower-room spat turned ugly. Or maybe Bennett's still pissy about failing those Village People YMCA auditions. Apparently they just didn't buy him as a sailor...

See what I mean? Any old pansy can terrorize the world - only real men look this fabulous while doing so.

Blinging up Bennett.

I've always felt sorry for poor ol' Bennett; it's not his fault he's about as welcome as a fart in a space suit. So, armed with nothing but a dodgy copy of Photoshop and a strange imagination, I set about trying to give Bennett the makeover he deserves. And I was pretty damn successful if I do say so myself:

Sometimes pictures say it better than words...

This one says it all...
All definate improvements, I'm sure you'll agree. TwistedEdge officially salutes Bennett - the pinnacle of cool for his services to fashion. Or maybe not. It's a shame really - after single handedly massacring a whole army, after travelling the world in search of his lost daughter, after risking life and limb in the desperate circumstances forced upon him, Matrix finally finds himself face to face with... a Freddy Mercury look-alike who would get his ass kicked by most retarded children. And so, to cap off this absolute stormer of a movie, we have the grand finale... the main event... the final showdown between Matrix and Bennett. To be honest, the odds don't look too good for Bennett; Arnie has proved himself near-invincible, slaughtering everything in his path for no apparent reason other than to show how macho he is. Bennett, on the other hand, has been wandering around like a ponce all movie, giving sexy looks to the camera and showing us how fabulous he looks in leather. Seems like a foregone conclusion to me...

The final battle.

Finally both our muscle-bound psychos end up in a basement suitably dark, dingy and steamy enough for a pointlessly macho asskicking. Bennett appears to have the upper hand, having both a handgun and Matrix's daughter. (Matrix had a shotgun, but that has miraculously disappeared - always a pain in the ass when battling crazed super-villains.) Just to stack the odds against him a little more, Matrix has been shot in the arm.
Despite all this, Bennett manages to look about as scary as that photo of Saddam in his underpants. Cue one of the most embarrassing and unintentionally hilarious dialogues in movie history - how the writers of this bilge can take themselves seriously after this is beyond me:

Matrix: Bennett! Stop screwing around and let the girl go - it's me that you want! I have only one arm! You can beat me!

[Bennett laughs for a while in that creepy, pseudo-pedophilic way of his, then stops. A close inspection of his face reveals he's actually falling for this corny bullshit, proving that he is infact about as much use as a fish-net condom.]

Matrix: Come on Bennett, you don't need that chickenshit gun.

[Matrix climbs out into the open, clutching at an unconvincing wound on his arm. For some reason, our dastardly mastermind doesn't do the obvious thing and shoot him in the face, much to the disappointment of the cinema audience.]

Matrix: You don't need to pull the trigger - put a knife in me! Then look me in the eye and see what's going on in there when you turn it.

[Having somehow swung into the steamy world of gay porn, our audience are now confused as to whether these two are going to fight or tickle each other's balls. Maybe that's what goes on in the army, who am I to say?]

Bennett: I could kill you, John.

Matrix: Come on, let the girl go. Just you and me - don't deprive yourself of some pleasure! Come on Bennett, let's party!

[I'm not making it up - he actually says that. Speculation is now rife as to what kind of relationship these two men actually had.]

Bennett: I can beat you! I don't need the girl! Ha! I DON'T NEED THE GIRL!! I don't need the gun, John - I can beat you. I DON'T NEED NO GUN!!!

[The world laughs at his stupidity as Bennett throws the girl to one side... throws down his gun... and goes BANZAIIIIII! Granted, a conversation with Ahhnold is enough to drive any man crazy, but this is taking the piss.]

Covered in leather and dripping with sweat: it takes years of practice to be this cool. And yes, that is a water pistol he's holding...

Bennett shows us just how painful  an errection caught behind leather pants can be.

Matrix walks off into the sunset, his wounds having miraculously disappeared.

Some of the scene's highlights...



Some tasty morsels from this cinematic blitzkrieg - click on an image to enlarge:

The symptoms of macho bullshit

Mmm... have you been working out?

In conclusion...

The producers of this movie had hoped to make an iconic blockbuster to rival Stallone's highly successful Rambo series of films. Oh how they failed. For years I wasn't sure if this was actually a real action movie, or just a parody of one. After all, all they had to do for Hot Shots Part Deux was to take the Commando formula and put Charlie Sheen in. So embarrassingly bad is this movie that it has tainted the action movie genre forever.

I was laughing so hard my chest hurt. I almost shit myself with the sheer unintentional hilarity of it all. My friends thought I was about to prolapse. A true classic in the world of cheesy movies, Commando ranks as the king of the hill due to the fact that there's not one moment of this 90 minute shitfest you can take seriously.

The fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger's career continued beyond this is proof that there is no justice in the world.

This movie contains the following chunks of wholesome goodness...

Here's some content symbols for you to feast and ravish upon. For an insight into our ratings system etc click here.

Bad acting. Crazily inept supervillains.

Homo-erotic sleaze.

Macho bullshit. Morons.
Shameless tit flashing. Unconvincing
ass kicking.
Violent death.        

The score...

10 bottles of Jack required to forget this film.
Infinitely more to forgive.

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