Rageaholic Cinema: COMMANDO
Well, we’ve certainly touched all the figurative
bases when it comes to cinemasculinity, haven’t we, Rageaholics? Since the inaugural episode
kicked off with a review of the 1986 Stallone classic ‘Cobra’, we’ve plowed headlong through
the feckless filmography of some of the greatest piles of steely-jawed musculature that personifies
the entirety of the 1980s: Stallone, Norris, Seagal, Thor,
and of course the apotheosis of all things man… Kristen Kreuk! But it’s only when you
think you’ve finished swabbing the poop deck that some pencil-necked walking douchesmirk
happens along and says ‘You missed a spot’. And that spot’s name… is Schwarzenegger!
Ah, Schwarzenegger… what can you say about Arnold that hasn’t already formed the basis
for a marital indictment? In the 1980’s, this motherfucker was raking more cash than a clean
whore in Bangkok. And for my money, if you’re planning to survey Schwarzenegger… then
the richest vein is, without question, an independent art house feature… more of a
celluloid Socratic exercise… from the director of the previous Rageaholic centrepiece Showdown
in Little Tokyo: ‘You have the right to be… DEAD!’
…and the screenwriting wünderkind that brought you Teen Wolf Too…
‘You just hit me with a dead frog…’ ‘Jerk.’
…comes fuckin’ COMMANDO! How do you shatter the proverbial champagne
bottle and christen the audience in preparation for a fiersome deluge of steroid-infused testostero-kinetic
action, you inquire?! By opening the film up in a suburban neighborhood, watchin’ garbagemen
ply their trade! Uh… FUCK YEAH! Then, of course, the lightest sleeper on the planet
wakes up to… take his garbage out, at which point the garbagemen whip out some uzis and
make him holier than Prometheus’ plot. And speaking of which… if you’re somehow under
the impression that this random act of unsolicited, kickass ’80s violence will eventually be justified
or even vaguely alluded to within the course of the movie at large, you are motherfuckin’
mistaken, because Commando doesn’t so much have a ‘plot’ as a ‘smattering of action set
pieces whose sole reason for existing is to call further attention to the protagonist’s
oily, rippling man-boobs’. Like a mescaline-fueled buttsex orgy at the Freddie Mercury estate…
but with more libidinous homo-erotic overtones. From the sanitation slayings, we’re at last
introduced to a Germanic Golem by name of John – fuckin’ – Matrix, having likely emerged
from single-handedly perpetrating all deforestation on the American continent, taking time to
pose dramatically in front of conveniently-placed lens flare, and in so doing pioneering the
sole character trait of every single Final Fantasy antagonist. From here the film hangs
a hard left down Diabeetus Blvd. And I beshit you not, this footage is unretouched… this
is the actual, honest-to-God fuckin’ soundtrack during this ceaseless procession of saccharine
Kodiak moments. Man, I don’t give a fuck if the credits are rolling or not, if that music
is playing, there’d better be goddamn ninjas in the trees.
‘NINJAS!’ ‘What’s in this?’
‘You don’t wanna’ know’ ‘…actually I just used some celery sal–
JESUS FUCK, A PLOT DEVICE!’ Left with a frightened daughter and a badly
wounded black guy who, I’m sure, has a long and healthy life ahead of him, Mr. Matrix
heads off to his password-protected MurderShed while Alyssa Milano cowers under the bed and
marvels at her rapidly-thickening arm hair. With a few light armaments in hand, Mr. Matrix
heads back to– FUCK! I mean, what kind of rainman fuckin’
terrorist sees a discernible tactical advantage in propping a random corpse against a door
like that?! Oh, I guess the kind with a pencil-thin ’70s porn mustache and the spry, youthful
hairline of Steve Buscemi. Turns out in the past five fucking seconds he’s somehow killed
a wily black dude and kidnapped a bitch, with adequate time to spare for corpse-propping.
Let’s see: Just kidnapped a man’s daughter. Completely unarmed. John’s armed to the teeth.
You’re sitting in a chair at perfect shotgun-height with a forehead large enough to to dead-eye
from fuckin’ orbit… what could possibly go wrong?
‘Your daughter’s safe. Whether she stays that way or not is up to you.’
‘You gotta cooperate. Right?’ ‘Wrong.’
Needless to say, it isn’t long before Arnold finds himself on the wrong side of 7 assault
rifles, and winds up being captured. Mustache? Check! Cut-off gloves? Check! Chainmail–
Folks, I think we may have an antagonist! ‘Bennett! I thought you were–‘
‘Dead? You thought wrong. Ever since you had me thrown out of your unit, I’ve waited to
pay you back…’ ‘Do you know what today is, Matrix?’
‘Payday’ Bennett unfurls the most diabolical revenge
plot I’ve yet laid eyes on by… shooting him with a tranquilizer dart. Okay… saving
the best for last, I get it. Deferred gratification, I can dig it!
‘Sully’ll see you get on the plane. And Regis’ll stay with you. Make sure you get off. I don’t
hear from either one of ’em… she’s dead.’ Wait, you’re leaving him without handcuffs
on… and he’s guarded by Doogie Houser and this dude? Even his mustache is out of shape!
So, of course, the moment he gets 3 1/2 seconds alone with this walking pair of love handles,
he hits him so hard the fuckin’ plane moves, then murders the motherfucker right where
he sits! Inconspicuous! But not as inconspicuous as this pun.
‘Do me a favor… don’t disturb my friend. He’s dead tired.’
Jeph Loeb… for writing that line… I could actually fuck you.
So Arnold somehow escapes the plane during takeoff by latching onto the wheel that should
have retracted five fuckin’ minutes ago, and dropping 60 feet Owen Hart style into a body
of water so shallow it doubles as Ron Paul’s foreign policy. This movie didn’t just jump
the shark, folks… it landed on the nose of said shark and performed fuckin’ Riverdance.
And yet if you change a single frame of this movie, I will hire a hairy Italian enforcer
to punch you in the nuts for 50 straight fuckin’ minutes. Schwarzennegger runs so fast, not
only is he instantly dry, but the body of water he just emerged from magically turns
into a desert! WHAT logic?!
Arnold tails Doogie back to the airport parking garage, where he’s busily accosting the least
relevant supporting character in contemporary cinema.
‘You know, I’ve got something I’d really like to give you.’
‘I’m not interested.’ ‘Aww… you don’t know what you’re missing.’
‘From here, it looks like a nightmare. Would you please LEAVE ME ALONE?’
‘You fuckin’ whore.’ Just then… FUCKIN’ Schwarzenegger! How you
let an oily Austrian mountain sneak up on you is well fucking beyond me! But, as you’ll
learn over the course of this film… Shaquonda Shoulder-pads over here isn’t exactly setting
the world ablaze with her raw intellect. ‘Are you going to tell me what’s going on
or what?!’ ‘No.’
‘No?! NO?!?!’ After a merry chase through a shopping mall
that results in Arnold killing every rent-a-cop in greater Suburbia, and an obligatory ’80s
Action Movie Car Chase that registers a meager 3 David Carradines out of 5 on The Rageaholic’s
scale from 1 to Death Race… at long last, Doogie Hauser’s convertible capsizes and he
finds himself face-to-manboob with the almighty Arnold Schwarzenegger.
‘I have to remind you, Sully. This is my weak arm!’
‘You can’t kill me, Matix. You need me to find your daughter.’
‘Where is she?’ ‘I don’t know. But Cooke knows. I’ll take
you where I’m supposed to meet him.’ ‘But you won’t…’
‘Why not?!’ ‘Because I already know.’
‘Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last?’
‘That’s right, Matrix! You did!’ ‘I lied.’
‘AAAAAHHHHHHH!’ Okay, I don’t give a fuck how preposterously
huge you are… how does any human being that isn’t freebasing Rhino semen push over a car,
exactly?! That’s fucking remarkable.. Remarkable… but still missing something…
‘What’d you do with Sully?’ ‘I let him go.’
[Singing ‘God Bless America’] After heading out to a random Motel at the
behest of a conveniently-placed clue in Doogie’s vest pocket and committing yet another hate
crime, Arnold decides that before he croaks this toad… it’s time to stock the fuck up.
Ah, an Army Surplus store… Well, you’re certainly overshooting the camouflage cargo
pants fashion trend by about ten years, but– SWEET GENTLE JESUS!
‘What’s that?’ ‘Rocket launcher.’
***RAWKIT LAUNCHER*** Had to be done.
‘Freeze!’ ‘Don’t even think about it.’
Yeah, sure… this is the time the cops decide to show up. Not when sanitation workers are
gunning down pedestrians in the motherfuckin’ street… not when children are being kidnapped
by coked-up terrorists five seconds after the military was already there… they show
up to stop some glorified shoplifting. Granted, bashing a fuckin’ tractor through the front
wall is pretty goddamn glorified, but the point still stands!
The Boys in Blasé haul Mr. Matrix off in a paddywagon leaving Madame Curie over here
alone with military-grade explosive weaponry, and if it seems like she’s preparing to murder
two police officers in cold blood with a quad-barrel rocket launcher, that’s only because she fuckin’
is. So, in the past 5 hours, Arnold has murdered three dudes, been in more fights than a butcher
at a PETA rally, one high speed chase, blown up two cops, stolen illegal weaponry, and
slammed a construction implement into the side of a goddamn building… if this were
Grand Theft Auto, this motherfucker would have more stars than Canis Major. Where the
fuck is the national guard? And then… shit gets real.
Arnold shows up on Nondescript Evil Bastard Island and, within a span of five fucking
seconds, blows up… absolutely everything. The base, the island, you, me, his own marital
fidelity… every single microbe of organic matter in the known universe is single-handedly
incinerated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. This fucker has killed more brown people than Dengue
Fever. With the front door blown the fuck in… we
have Arnold, a machine gun, endless waves of South American drug cartel bullet sponges…
and a waist with more grenades than belt loops… cling fast to your dicks… this is going
to be fucking amazing. May I field the query… of where in nebulous
fuck… these people are even coming from!? Ground control to John Matrix, there are officially
no brown people left to kill! You’re going to have to fuck Shaquonda, wait nine months…
and shoot her offspring! But, of course, no sprawling island mansion
is complete without its very own subterranian murder-factory. Alyssa Milano, sensing iminent
child abuse, flees from Bennett, who’s evidently only just remembered that he’s still in this
fucking movie. In hot pursuit of his daughter and her NAMBLA sponsor, Arnold instead finds
himself ambushed by Major Mustache. ‘Bennett, stop screwing around and let the
girl go! It’s me that you want! I have only one arm! You can beat me! Come on, Bennett!
Throw away the chicken-shit gun! You don’t just want to pull a trigger…’
‘You want to put a KNIFE in me. And look me in the eye. And see what’s going on in there
when you turn it. That’s what you want to do, right?’
‘I’m gonna kill you, John.’ ‘Come on. Let the girl go. This is between
you and me. Don’t deprive yourself of some pleasure.’
‘Come on, Bennett… let’s PARTY.’ Are you shitting me?! You’re Arnold Schwarzennegger
circa 1985! You have bengal tigers for arms! Conversely, Bennett…. has hairy pipe cleaners!
John Matrix is going to wear you like an oven mitt. Run, Bennett! FLEE FOR YOUR FUCKING
LI– ah, shit… In the surprise of the 20th century, Bennett
fares about as well as a balsa wood chair in Jim Sterling’s Living Room. Arnold makes
a masterful comeback against a middle-aged, wildly out-of-shape opponent with considerably
less training and combat skill. Huzzah! But, as we all know, it ain’t over until the fat
lady’s impaled with a fucking pipe. ‘I’ll shoot you between the balls!’
‘Let off some steam, Bennett.’ Cut and fucking PRINT!
If you haven’t yet achieved sexual release, it’s legally imperative that you hand over
your penis license. Granted, if you condensed this film down to only its most gleaming moments
of wit, dialogue and plot… you’d have no fucking movie. But if, like me, you ask for
nothing more from your action cinema than titties, muscles, explosions and arcing fountains
of blood, then Commando… is an immutable monument to fully-engorged machismo. If you
must kneel before the towering obelisk that is Schwarzennegger… and really, who, with
a functional crank does not… then do so with repeated viewings of motherfuckin’ COMMANDO!
Preferably while repeatedly shouting ‘Fuck yeah’ in a tremulous Hair Metal falsetto while
wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a riding crop and a scowl– DON”T JUDGE ME, ASSHOLE!
I’m RazörFist. God – fuckin’ – SPEED!