Talk about an ’80s action classic! Commando was one of those movies that I had VHS with a recording of the TV, complete with commercials and I would watch it all the time. This is 80s Arnold at his very best (also, check out Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, and Predator), and I would argue that many people when they think of over-the-top 80s macho action movies think of Commando first.
How to Download Commando
Commando was released on October 4, 1985. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
This movie was such a big deal for me as a kid. I had a video game called Ikari Warriors and I would pretend that one of the characters was John Rambo and the other was John Matrix! I never knew that there was an action figure line for Commando as a kid, but if I did, I know for sure that I would have wanted them! I had to make do with Action Force figures which were our version of G.I Joe.
Meet John Matrix
Our main character in Commando is a badass former military man, John Matrix. John is just trying to live a quiet and happy life with his daughter in the mountains. It turns out that a group of mercenaries led by one of John’s former teammates, a man called Bennett have been killing his other teammates and they kidnap his daughter Jenny.
A Sinister Plot Unfolds
This was no random kidnapping! Bennet is working for a man called Arius. Arius was a dictator in South America that John and his team removed from power and he wants that power back. He has kidnapped Jenny and is forcing John to go to his home country and lead a coup so that he can get back in power, if he does not, Jenny dies!
John’s Desperate Escape
John is way smarter than that and he knows that Arius will kill Jenny so he pretty much hijacks the plane he is on, escapes, and realizes he has 11 hours to find Jenny before Arius and his goons know he has escaped. John picks up a little help along the way in the form of Cindy, a flight attendant who just so happens to be pretty handy with a rocket launcher!
Commando is a movie that simply does not stop. They give us the plot right at the start and then it is just Arnold (and Cindy to be fair) being a badass killing a bunch of bad guys. This is all we needed back then and I think the fact that this is such a straightforward action movie makes it so easy to watch.
Impressive Special Effects
For a movie from 1985, it also has some very impressive special effects that I think hold up pretty well today. They pretty much had to just blow stuff up back then and that is something I always think is kind of cool. I recently saw an interview with Sylvester Stallone where he was talking about the differences between acting in a big action movie then as opposed to today and it was very interesting, and well worth checking out if you are an action movie fan.
When it comes to the home release of Commando, I have to say that the original DVD release of Commando that we got here in the UK is one of the worst DVD releases of all time! It is a butchered censored version of the movie and it sucks what they did to it, plus the image quality is horrible!
Thankfully, it has been re-released a few times since then and they even made a 30th anniversary Blu-Ray of it in 2015. Either the 30th anniversary Blu-Ray or the DVD from 2007 are the best ways to have Commando in your collection and trust me, you need to have Commando in your collection. However, they really need to get to work on a 4K restoration of this as it is an absolute 80s classic! I also want to mention that Neca made an epic John Matrix action figure which I highly recommend!
- This is classic 80s Arnold at his best
- This is one of the premier 80s action movies!
- The practical special effects hold up really well
- It was cool how they made Cindy a badass as well as John Matric
- That original DVD release they made for this is disgusting and should be wiped from the earth, preferably with a rocket launcher!
- This is one of those movies that is crying out for a 4K restoration!