Directed By: Mark L. Lester

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano, James Olson, Dan Hedaya, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke, and David Patrick Kelly

The end of the Cold War was still six years away; dictators were common villains, and the moviegoers of the freedom-loving United States were absolutely enamored with action movies.  It was 1985 and Arnold Schwarzenegger was at the top of his game.

With The Last Stand set to open this January, and Schwarzenegger playing his first lead role since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, I think now is the perfect time to do a flashback to the classic Arnold movie Commando and his well-played role as Colonel John Matrix.

We first meet Matrix, a retired operative from the elite Delta Force, somewhere in the mountains of California.  He’s living a peaceful life with his daughter Jenny (played by a young Alyssa Milano) until his former commanding officer, Major General Franklin Kirby (James Olson), informs him that almost all the members of his old unit have been killed off systematically and he’s next in line.

After Franklin leaves, mercenaries sent by the South American dictator Arius (Dan Hedaya) come to cause trouble and snatch Matrix’s precious Jenny.  They tell Matrix he needs to carry out a political assassination, and they pull the typical “do what we want or your daughter dies” routine.  Matrix plays along, as good guys always do, and they think they’ve outwitted him, but this ends up being a huge mistake.

As the movie progresses, Matrix begins to kill off the mercenaries one by one.  He meets up with a helpful off-duty flight attendant named Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong) and, after breaking into a surplus military store, Matrix steals all the necessary weapons to make this 1985 blockbuster the explosion-filled bloodbath it’s remembered as.

Matrix learns that his old friend Bennett (Vernon Wells), also retired from Matrix’s old Delta Force unit, is the head of Arius’s mercenary army.  This fuels him with enough rage to defeat them all, which he does in typical Arnold-the-muscle-man style.  With enough shooting, bombs, rocket launchers, and explosions to film a hundred war movies, Commando is sure to please any fans of action movies.

What Commando lacks in plot it definitely makes up for with action.  Hands down one of my all-time favorite movies, Commando has a winning combination of Arnold, guns, bombs, and a lot of dead South American mercenaries.  Make sure you give this one a watch before seeing The Last Stand in theaters this January.

Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast, writer of movie reviews, and owner of Movie Room Reviews which has great information on movies and actors. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.