Possibly the most awesome film Arnold Schwarzenegger ever made, and certainly the most unintentionally homoerotic. Commando tells the story of John Matrix (Arnie), a retired special forces colonel whose daughter is kidnapped. To get her back he must, like, kill a prime minister or something? But thankfully he decides to ignore these demands and just kills them all instead.Best known for Schwarzenegger displaying his distinctive tongue-in-cheek humor for this kind of over-the-top action film.A sequel to the film was written. When Schwarzenegger claimed he wasn't interested, the script was retooled until it eventually became Die Hard.Not to be confused with the long-running British Comic BookCommando, which is a little more sedate in its overall narrative. Does not involve Going Commando, either. Or the Capcom arcade/console game, for that matter (or its bionic counterpart).
Commando provides examples of the following tropes:
Bennett deserves mention too, for not only being the only person in the film to put up a decent fight against Matrix, but for getting him on the ropes in their final battle (though Matrix was wounded before that fight started).
Bennett's actor, Vernon Wells, also qualifies. He replaced the original Bennett who was fired on set for "not being menacing enough". When Arnold first saw him, he was not impressed. So Wells absolutely went for him in their first scene. Schwarzenegger demanded that Wells use a rubber knife in all subsequent takes.
The belt of ammo hanging from Matrix's M60 gets longer and longer with each cut.
Averted, though, with the rocket launcher, which fires exactly four times over the course of the film before Matrix discards it.
Also averted with Cooke's revolver during the motel room fight. You can easily count the gunshots, so you know that Cooke's gun is empty before he does.
Brand X: At the airport, the Matrix's flight to Val Verde is with an airline simply called "Western." Another plane on the runway after Matrix jumps from the plane during takeoff is labeled "Eastern." Bothof them existed in real life, though.
Early on, Matrix is trying to chase some bad guys but the power to his truck is cut, so he pushes it and drives it down a hill. Then there's the plane escape.
Ripping a car seat out of the car with his bare hands.
A more subtle one: Matrix is impeded by a padlock and chains, so he just rips them off.
Lifting a phone booth with Sully still inside.
Chewing the Scenery: Vernon Wells, the actor who plays Bennett, practically uses the climactic knife fight as chewing gum! "You're a dead man John! A dead man!", or "How does it feel to be a dying man, John?" Even his understated lines like "I told them I'd do it for free" chew the scenery.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Dozens, if not hundreds of soldiers, and not one of them can take a decent aimed shot against the guy standing in the middle of a wide open garden shooting at them with a machine gun that should be braced on its bipod in order to fire accurately — no problem for Matrix. The wussy boss bad guy takes several minutes of dodging and fire-trading before he makes the kill. The Dragon nearly kills Matrix himself. Oh, and by the end of the film, Matrix's apparently killed everybody on the island.
Creepy Child: Jenny is remarkably serene after being threatened and watching her father impale a man with a steam pipe.
Distressed Damsel: Jenny, but hardly a hopeless example of the trope. Using her own resourcefulness she's able to free herself from her confinement — if not, Bennett would have cut her throat before Matrix even got near her.
Excuse Plot: Not unexpected being that it's part of the Schwarzenegger oeuvre, but a particularly notable example — the movie doesn't even pretend it's going to have anything to do with the whole "kill the Prime Minister / President / whatever of Val Verde to get your daughter back" stuff. This has the rather amusing result that pretty much every scene with Arius before the climax basically involves him sitting around waiting for Matrix to show up and kill him even if he doesn't realize it.
Harmless Electrocution: During the climatic fight, Matrix throws Bennett into a high voltage generator, which sparks and goes haywire as our victim WHO IS WEARING A CHAINMAIL VEST screams like a little girl. About eight seconds later, however, Bennett immediately bounces back in the fight and is arguably fighting better than he did before the electrocution.
Heroic Neutral: Matrix just wants to be left alone with his daughter, and turns down the Army's offer at the end of the film to do just that. He kept his word too: there never was a sequel.
I Have Your Daughter: Subverted in that when the bad guys kidnap Matrix's daughter to blackmail him into working for them, he doesn't even pretend to play along; he ignores their demands and just kills them all.
Juggling Loaded Guns / Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: After Matrix gets locked up in a police van, Cindy tries to free him with a quad-barrelled missile launcher. Unfortunately she points the wrong end at the target and blows up the shops behind her. Remember to read which end is the front when handling heavy weapons such as missile launchers.
Lock and Load Montage: Complete with enough weaponry to kill a small army. Interestingly, Matrix puts all the equipment on, including his vest and then puts camo paint on his arms and face. Later, he loses the vest and now he has camo paint on his manly chest. Which means, after the montage, he must have taken all the equipment off again to paint it on, as he was obviously planning to lose his shirt later.
Subverted. When Matrix is shot in the shoulder by Bennett, his right arm is mostly out of the fight, he even comments on it and can't use it for much aside for holding impromptu shields and weapons. It seems fine by the end though.
Played completely straight throughout with Matrix's leg and abdomen wounds, suffered after a being a little to close to a live grenade.
Papa Wolf: You harmed his little girl? You're DOOMED.
John Matrix: Come on (WHACK!) you piece of shit! (WHACK!) Time to fly or die! (WHACK! the engine starts)
Plot Coupon: After leaping from the plane to Val Verde, a good portion of the film's second act involves Matrix having to find items that clue him in to the next location. The most egregious instance of this is probably after Cooke is killed without him revealing to Matrix any relevant information, requiring Matrix and Cindy to search his car until they find a helpful clue.
The cops who arrest Matrix at the army surplus store don't even bother to put him in handcuffs, and they somehow fail to notice Cindy on the store grounds. They also dismiss Matrix's requests to get in touch with General Kirby as crazy talk, and when Cindy pulls up alongside the police paddy wagon in a Cadillac convertible with a ton of stolen military-grade weapons in the back seat, a cop just assumes that she's a prostitute.
Ditto at the mall earlier. All of them were attacking the unarmed Matrix even as Sully was slaughtering them left and right. Subverted later as a cop quickly kills off Sully's money man. Maybe Sully had invisibility superpowers?
Matrix has Cindy pretend to be a hooker in Sully's hotel room. Doesn't quite work as Cooke is still wary, but he still misses Matrix hiding behind the door until the "Hey, You!" Haymaker.
Later Cindy pulls this ploy off on her own initiative, pretending to be a hooker to distract a pair of cops taking John away in a police truck.
Soft Glass: Played with. Arnold plays this straight, but his friend who ran the car dealership is badly cut when he's driven through a window. It's possible the shards killed him, that or being hit by the car.
Soft Water: About three feet of it cushions Matrix's fall after he jumps from an airplane's landing gear.
Stun Guns: "Tranquilizers. I wanted to use the real thing!"
Matrix's daughter would have been dead within seconds of him being spotted by Sully at the mall if this film was set in the late 1990s. Also Matrix could've called General Kirby on a cellphone once he got off the plane.
Unnecessary Combat Roll: It actually proves useful. Matrix is in a gun fight with Arius, and the two take turns shooting at each other and taking cover. After a few rounds of this, Matrix rolls out from his cover as Arius tries to shoot him, only for Matrix to shoot Arius at the end of the roll.