If I saw Commando when I should have, aged between eight and twelve years old, I would have probably grown up with an unflinching fondness for it. Watching it today at twenty six though, it’s difficult to look past the sheer dumbness of everything on-screen. The cinematography, the storyline, the characters, the dialogue; it’s just absolutely brain-numbing stuff. I could practically feel the brain cells dying off every time Arnie opened his mouth.
Now, I get that this is the appeal of a movie like Commando. It’s Schwarzenegger with one liners blowing shit up so it’s not like I was expecting Paddy Chayefsky by any means. But even expectations appropriately lowered, you can only really enjoy this film ironically. There’s very little craft or originality to be found. Even as a mindless 80s Schwarzengger shoot-em-up, there are so many better films you could pick from. They even recycle lines, awkwardly, from Terminator barely a year after it was released. Was Arnie regarded as an icon worth self-referentiality so quick? Apparently so.
Commando certainly has its fans, many of my closest friends among them, but it just didn’t scratch that itch for me. Sure, as a Joel Silver production lacking any brain activity beyond muscle memory, it’s sort of a success, but personally I found it to be a loud, idiotic and average bore. Arnie deserves better.