The 1980s was a defining period for action cinema, with musclebound meatheads taking over the genre to prove that bulging biceps were a more than acceptable substitute for any sort of range, or even actual talent as an actor. The biggest beneficiary of all was of course Arnold Schwarzenegger, who used the success of The Terminator as the launchpad to international superstardom, which was cemented the following year when the glorious Commando arrived.
One of the silliest shoot ’em ups you’re ever likely to see, but in the greatest way imaginable, Arnold’s John Matrix strolls onto the scene carrying pretty much an entire tree over his shoulder, because he’s the manliest man that ever manned. From there, he literally sniffs out that his life is in danger, before embarking on a one-man crusade that pits him against a villain who sports a huge mustache and wears a chain-mail vest for reasons that don’t even need to be explained.
Basically, Commando rules, and anyone who even attempts to tell you anything different deserves to be ignored. Looking at how upwards of 250 comments have already appeared on a hype post celebrating the wondrously over-the-top orgy of wanton violence and destruction on Reddit, it’s clear that the film endures as an ode to excess.
The body count becomes ludicrous by the time Schwarzenegger opts to take on an entire army single-handedly, and it’s even part of Commando‘s charm that you can quite clearly see many of the “victims” are nothing more than cardboard cutouts strategically placed outside of an exploding building.
They don’t make them like they used to, and there’s never going to be an actioner like Commando ever again, not that it could ever be bettered for its uniquely extravagant nature anyway.