80s Movie Of The Day – Commando (1985)

80s Movie Of The Day - Commando (1985)

Released in October 1985, this Arnold Schwarzenneger film is an all-out action-packed blast. The film also stars Rae Dawn Chong and an early performance by a young Alyssa Milano. Commando was a huge box office success grossing over $57.5 million against only a $9 million budget. Lots of action and lots of great comedy one-liners sprinkled throughout the film make this movie one of Schwarzenegger’s best films of his career. Body count: 109 (102 killed by Arnold Schwarzenegger)  Arnold Schwarzenegger performed a lot of his own stunts in Commando, as the producers found it nearly impossible to find a stunt double for his bodybuilder physique. Arnold suffered a dislocated shoulder and several stitches during the shoot.


Commando’s plot is Retired 1st Colonel John Matrix is informed by his former superior Major General Franklin Kirby that all the other members of his former unit have been killed by unknown mercenaries. The mercenaries, among them Bennett, an Australian ex-member of Matrix’s team discharged for excessive violence, attack Matrix’s secluded mountain home and kidnap Matrix’s young daughter Jenny. While trying to intercept them, Matrix is also overpowered and abducted by the mercenaries. He is taken before their commander, Arius, a South American former dictator who blackmails Matrix into carrying out a political assassination in his home country of Val Verde, where Arius wishes to lead a military coup. (Matrix previously led a United States-backed revolution that deposed Arius, who has chosen Matrix to assassinate the new president of Val Verde, for he trusts Matrix implicitly.) With Jenny’s life on the line, Matrix reluctantly accepts the demand, but not before killing Diaz while refusing to cooperate with “his men”.

After boarding a plane to Val Verde, Matrix manages to kill his guard, Henriques – by snapping his neck – and jumps from the plane just as it is taking off. With approximately 11 hours before the plane is scheduled to land, he sets out after another of Arius’ men, Sully. He enlists the aid of an off-duty flight attendant, Cindy, and instructs her to follow Sully to a shopping mall. Cindy first assumes that Matrix is a madman, but after she sees Sully pull a gun on Matrix in the ensuing fight, she decides to assist him in his endeavor. After a lengthy car chase, Matrix catches up with Sully and drops him off a cliff to his death. Taking a motel key from Sully’s jacket, Matrix tracks down and confronts Cooke, a former Green Beret in Arius’ employ. He impales Cooke on a table leg after a lengthy fight and learns where Jenny is being held.

Matrix breaks into a surplus store to equip himself with military weaponry but is immediately arrested by the police. Cindy helps him escape by using a rocket launcher on the police car and, after commandeering a seaplane from a nearby marina controlled by Arius, Matrix and Cindy land the plane off the coast of Arius’ island hideout. Matrix instructs Cindy to contact General Kirby and then proceeds to Arius’ villa, killing Arius and his army. Jenny escapes to the villa’s basement but is captured by Bennett. Matrix tracks them, and after a lengthy fight, finally kills Bennett by impaling him with a steam pipe. Kirby arrives with a military detachment and asks Matrix to rejoin the unit, but Matrix declines and departs the island aboard the seaplane with Jenny and Cindy.

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