By: John M Jerva
Yesterday saw the 37th anniversary to a true and beloved action film classic and I have posted one of the greatest, and I do mean greatest, firefights in action cinema history as it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger taking out an entire island in the epic of all epic finales in Commando.
What better way to signal the return of Firepower Fridays then posting one of the finest firefights in action cinema history. Yeah, I know it’s only Wednesday but the anniversary was on Tuesday so I thought it would be best to launch this one early. I really don’t know why I haven’t done this one before but hey better late than never and since I recently acquired the director’s cut that features more bloodshed, this is the perfect time to talk about what is one of the most glorious adrenaline laced films ever made.
This film is the quintessential 80’s action movie, and it came out in the heyday when Arnie and Stallone ruled the box office with their immense egos and even more immense firepower.
Commando is the kind of movie that you never get tired of and it is short and sweet with a 90-minute running time and it takes off like a bat out of hell right away and never lets up until the final round of ammunition is spent and Schwarzenegger basically kills an entire zip code in the span of 15 minutes. The whole movie is 80’s awesome but it’s the ending that really makes it an action classic as Arnie uses a variety of high-powered weapons to lay siege to the tiny island of Vel Verde (love that name by the way) and once the bad guys kidnapped his daughter, played by a young Alyssa Milano, action fans knew that they were in for a real treat.
Even the scene where Arnold is suiting up for battle is epic as the music is 80’s glorious and the fast editing is spot one as the action legend straps up with enough weapons to arm a small contingent of soldiers let alone one man. I remember seeing this film in the theaters and thinking to myself that this movie just might have been the greatest thing I ever saw. It’s so politically incorrect that it would never be made today.
This could quite possibly be the greatest man on a mission or one-man army film ever created and it is truly an exercise in 80’s excess. The scene is furious, and Arnie doesn’t break a sweat as he unloads on the bad guys using everything from an M-60 machine gun to garden shed tools. There was no debating that Schwarzenegger was the king of the action box office that year and when fans talk about him, this movie always comes up.
The director’s cut doesn’t serve up much in terms of new content but there are slight differences throughout the film and there is more violence to be had. This is most noticeable in the tool shed scene during the climatic firefight as Matrix dices up the bad guys in even gorier fashion and we get to see the complete machete severing the arm moment which is worth the price of getting this version alone. If you call yourself a true action fan, then this is the only proper way to watch such an iconic and unapologetic action movie from one of the greats.
I don’t think I should take up anymore of your time describing how wonderfully ulta-violent this movie is and just see it for yourself for the thousandth time in the 3 players below and this is from the extended cut of course! This movie was one of the reasons that I became an action genre fanatic and why I do this website to this day. Happy Anniversary Commando because there will never be another one like you. Come on Bennett, Let’s party!”
Be sure to come back every Friday as I post my favorite bullet riddled sequences from action cinema history. Every Friday, you’ll get your weekly dose of guns, muzzle flashes and blood squibs galore. Firepower Fridays is back with a vengeance!!!!