We introduced the kids to the movie Commando this weekend, thanks to Netflix. Since I hadn’t seen it in years (possibly decades), I was pleasantly surprised to see that it holds up well. Of course, “it holds up well” on the 80s-Action-Movie scale…no one is ever going to complain about its lack of Oscars.
One thing I did notice was that this movie, since it was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s follow-up to The Terminator, establishes his catchphrases as catchphrases! There’s the obligatory “I’ll be back” and even a “F*** you, a**hole!” This movie sets these catchphrases in stone as Ahnold’s trademarks; all the rest of his movies would just be taking their cue from Commando. Well done!
I did get a bit of a shock while perusing IMDb’s Trivia section about this movie: its relationship to Die Hard, my all-time favorite 80s action movie and easily in my Top 5 Movies Ever. It seems that, after Commando hit it big, the studio commissioned a sequel by the same writer (Steven E. de Souza) which was revised by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead). It was based on a 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. However, Ahnold didn’t want to reprise the character (maybe he was afraid of getting typecast? *chortle*) so the studio was stuck with an action movie script but no action hero. Their solution? Rework it for this TV actor who was looking to break into movies: Bruce Willis. And so, Commando 2 becomes Die Hard. <mind state=”blown></mind>
So, if Ahnold hadn’t passed on the movie, we’d probably have a bunch of Commando sequels (getting progressively worse, I’m sure)…ending with Commando 5: Stop or My Daughter Will Shoot! starring Alyssa Milano. And Bruce Willis would probably be best known for “Moonlighting” and Blind Date. I think we dodged several bullets there.