Commando: Director’s Cut

In the retrospective featurette of “Commando,” director Mark Lester explains that the film set the stage for 80s action flicks. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily the case (considering it was proceeded by classics like “The Terminator,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Rambo”), but it definitely represents a grand example of the genre.

Schwarzenegger galvanizes his place as a rock-solid action hero as John Matrix, a retired commando who is targeted by a South American former dictator (Dan Hedaya). Matrix’s daughter (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped in order to force him to assassinate the dictator’s successor. However, Matrix uses his deadly skills to wage war against the kidnappers.

“Commando” serves as a template for many future action flicks, some of which also starred Schwarzenegger. It’s not a great story or a great plot, but as a 80s-era work of pop culture art, the film is a hoot. Schwarzenegger is in his element, looking the best he has in his career. There’s lots of blood, lots of bullets and some extra gruesome deaths in this remastered director’s cut.

The DVD includes both the theatrical version and the director’s cut, a full-length audio commentary with Mark Lester, a new retrospective featurette, a spotlight on the action, deleted scenes and an extensive still gallery.

Grade: B-

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