Commando (1985)

commando_3Commando (1985)
AKA Phantom Kommando

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

Directed by Mark L. Lester

Expectations: This is one of my favorites movies ever.


Before this recent re-watch of Commando, I wondered to myself how I would rate the film. Without question I knew that I would want to give it four stars because this has been one of my most favorite films ever since childhood. If I had to choose, I’d say that it’s between this and Predator for my favorite Arnold film. So clearly I have a great affection for this movie, and only four stars can accurately sum up my feelings for it. At the same time, I’m now 32 years old and while I still watch this movie with a gleeful smile and an unburdened mind, I am able to recognize how some people — especially those who did not live through the ’80s or grow up on Arnold films — could find themselves unable to stomach either the graphic, wanton violence or the highly questionable, completely unbelievable logic of Commando.

Thankfully, I’m not one to let the snark and the bad vibes of those who don’t see the magic of Commando ruin my experience. Without even a moment’s consideration, Commando still ranks as one of my favorite films. It is relentlessly exciting, funny, and even shockingly gruesome at times. Commando is one of the greatest action films of the ’80s. Like its heavily armed, well-oiled lead, Commando is lean, mean and always ready to kick some motherfuckin’ ass!

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Double Dragon (1994)

936full-double-dragon-posterStarring Robert Patrick, Mark Dacascos, Scott Wolf, Kristina Wagner, Julia Nickson, Alyssa Milano, Nils Allen Stewart, Henry Kingi, John Mallory, Leon Russom, Jeff Imada, Al Leong

Directed by James Yukich

Expectations: Not much.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Well, it started out pretty good, but then it just kept going and going and going. Double Dragon is such a shit movie, but it’s also not without some trashy charm. I can’t completely hate a movie with any sort of martial art component, and while Double Dragon features far less actual fighting than there should be, the fights it had were entertaining enough.

As much as I’d like to say that the film follows the video game’s plot, it does not. I’m not sure if a movie opening with a girl getting punched in the stomach, slung over a shoulder and then carried off by a gang of thugs would do very well, but the following 90 minutes of straight fighting through warehouses and forests would’ve been something to see. There’s no way this team could have effectively pulled that off, but I would’ve loved to seen them try. Instead we get to revel in the gloriously awful plot they’ve cooked up for the under-10 audience and your enjoyment disappointment.

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