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My Musings on Commando
July 30, 2011Posted by on
I thought maybe there was something wrong with me. I had just finished watching Commando, an all-time favorite of mine, and one I reviewed back on the old site with Nick well over a year ago. Except this time, it wasn’t work for me. It didn’t affect me whatsoever. “Why?” I wondered to myself, “Why isn’t Commando working for me?” I didn’t know, but I was distraught and troubled by that.
Although I lately have made some questionable entertainment decisions, I never thought I’d question my love for Commando. I’m not sure where I went wrong, either. Everything started out well enough. Arnold carried a mother fucking tree trunk by himself, and that was totally bad-ass. I thought maybe by the time I got to the scene where he snaps a guys neck and then jumps of a plane all would be well, but it wasn’t to be. I just kind of had zero reaction to that, not even Arnold’s line “Don’t disturb my friend. He’s dead-tired.” didn’t affect me the way it usually does.
By the time Arnold beat up three dozen mall security officers, I was almost ready to turn Commando off. I still couldn’t get into it. I still wondered why. I knew there was going to be a bad-ass fight between Arnold and Bill Fucking Duke coming up, so I stuck with the film. “C’mon,” I thought, “This is one of cinema’s greatest showdowns, it will invigorate me for sure!” But even the presence of Bill Duke didn’t work. I became sullen and depressed. Surely Commando is the greatest movie of all time, but why wasn’t I getting into it?
I stuck with Commando to the end. It had been so good to me over the years. I remember when I saw this movie on TBS or TNT or something when I was just a kid. It had the immense, over-the-top violence that delighted and entertained a child who grew up on GI: Joe and armymen toys. I wasn’t going to give it up so quickly. Arnold finally laid siege to the island of the evil Arius, the despicable dictator of Val Verde. He would then fight Bennett, his old special forces rival. Commando was coming to its climax.
And just like that, everything clicked again. The showdown between Matrix and Bennett made me love the film. While a distraught Alyssa Milano watches (yeah that’s not scarring at all for a young girl), Arnold and Bennett fight each other with knives, fists, and industrial pipes. And their fight did not disappoint. I put aside everything I was doing to distract myself and just *focused* on their battle. By the time the dust cleared, Arnie walked away with his daughter to the booming sounds of 1980s power ballad “We Fight For Love” by Power Station. Commando had won me back, hopefully for good. I was myself again, and it just felt right.