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Commando (DC)
DVD disk
09.21.2007 By: Quigles
Commando (DC) order
Director:
Mark L. Lester

Actors:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rae Dawn Chong
Dan Hedaya

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In order to save his daughter, retired elite commando John Matrix has to kill people. A lot of them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is not a movie to be taken seriously. Within its first few minutes, there's a contrived opening credits montage featuring a father and daughter playing and laughing with big ol' smiles on their faces as they eat ice cream cones, pet a dear, go fishing, enjoy a dip in the pool, and prance inside to snack on some sandwiches, with a big heart attached to the refrigerator that reads, "I love you dad!" That's about the extent of the film's dramatic side.

Lets move onto the action.

The bad guys come, kidnap the hero's daughter, and he's forced to take all of 'em out one by one if he ever hopes to rescue her. And who better to do that than Arnold Schwarzenegger? He's got a massive physique, rock-hard muscles, and... well I guess that's all you really need for a role like this; certainly not acting ability, what with every line of dialogue sounding like it was read off a cue card. That doesn't just include Arnie, but all of the cast. The best performance in the film actually comes courtesy of the kidnapped daughter (Alyssa Milano??), who has nothing to do other than be adorable and occasionally cry. Rest assured, she does so with impressive flair!

There's also a love interest/sidekick character thrown into the mix, nearly destroying any enjoyment to be had from the film with her shrill delivery and awful one-liners. I wonder why they even needed her to act as comic relief, since Arnie was doing such a fine job with the hilariously bad dialogue himself. In one instance, he kills a man on a plane, lays him down to look asleep, and says to a stewardess, "Please don't disturb my friend. He's dead tired." Classic. And there's plenty more where that came from.

As for the rest of the film, it's a series of over-the-top action scenes featuring bullets being unloaded into bodies, faces being smashed with fists, and potentially explosive items doing what you least expect them to (need a hint?). Arnold fights through this carnage with alarming efficiency, managing to somehow evade the thousands of bullets coming from every direction, all while effortlessly taking down the horde of villains surrounding him. He's the type of character that should probably be out there wearing a cape and fighting crime, but by golly, all he wants is to live a peaceful life with his cutie patootie daughter. I wish my dad was that cool.
THE EXTRAS
Not just an improvement in terms of video and audio, this "Director's Cut" edition of COMMANDO also comes complete with a number of cool special features. With the original release having only a theatrical trailer to offer, this was certainly a long time coming.

As for the so-called Director's Cut itself, it's nothing especially notable. They've seen fit to also make the Theatrical Cut available as well (I love it when they do that), so it wouldn't have been a big deal either way. You can read more about what's been added here in the appropriately titled "Added Scenes" section, below.

Audio Commentary (with director Mark Lester): Putting aside the lagging moments of silence, this is a fun listen, with Lester offering up plenty of trivia and fun Arnold stories concerning his favorite film out of the 28 he's made.

Pure Action (15:06): Mixed with behind-the-scenes clips and vintage interview footage of Arnold, this entertaining featurette additionally offers a bunch of newly recorded interview segments with the other cast/crew members. It's a nice retrospective piece.

Let Off Some Steam (7:18): A tongue-in-cheek look at the film's campy style, silly one-liners, and supposed homosexual undertones. Highly amusing.

Deleted Scenes (2:53): Here are three scenes that were apparently not deemed good enough to be included with the "Director's Cut" of the film.

Added Scenes: Available exclusively in the "Theatrical Version" section of the DVD's menu, this gives viewers the option of watching the scenes added back into the "Director's Cut". There's an extended tool shed fight, a discussion about John Matrix's daughter, and a couple of other bits of dialogue put back in. None of it's particularly helpful to the film, but it doesn't hinder it either.

Also available are over 160 Still Images.

Miscellaneous: As a bonus, there's a 2-page insert featuring some fun facts and production notes. Always a nice inclusion.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A guilty pleasure in the truest sense of the word, COMMANDO is the movie equivalent of fast food. If you enjoy your action over-the-top and filled with one-liners, look no further. This newly released Director's Cut won't offer fans anything special in regards to the film, but the actual DVD is a huge upgrade from the previous release. Fans owe it to themselves to pick this up.
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