I have only one thing to be thankful to for this next post–ABC’s “Sunday Night Movies.”
For those of you that don’t know what that means, back before we had all the technologies that we have now (DVDs, BlueRays, Streaming, OnDemand, etc.) and prior to VCRs being too popular, movies used to have a much longer “window” of time prior to being released on VHS. Once they were released on VHS, the rental stores rarely had enough copies for a very popular new release (they’d usually have about 5 copies for a very popular movie) to go around if you really wanted to see a movie. I found that by the time you could finally get a copy of the new release you wanted to see, you would’ve already seen it on ABC’s “Sunday Night Movies”–however, it was edited for television….why else would my parents let me see it?
Ok, confession time again… “The Terminator” was not the first “Schwarzenegger movie” that I ever saw. It was “Commando” on “Sunday Night!”
Is this movie a “classic” or “must see” per say?
Am I glad I got to see it?
It introduced me to Schwarzenegger, in which he became a sub-genre of Action movies in-and-of-himself. I always heard my friends at school that were allowed to watch his movies (unedited) talking about how “awesome” they were. After I watched “Commando,” I completely understood what they were talking about.
Action! Action! Action!
I think by today’s standards, the movie might drag in parts…but at the time, it was an extravaganza.
His daughter’s kidnap and chase down his mountain fortress, his free-fall from the bowels of the airplane, the pursuit of Sully through the mall, the battle with Cooke at the Motel, the extraction of all of the weapons at the sporting goods store, and the final sequence when he attempts to rescue his daughter are some of the action set pieces in the film.
I also found that in his movies, he took notes from James Bond and started having cool witty phrases after he murdered a villain. The “catch phrases” are considered cliche now, because of Bond and Schwarzenegger.
The movie has a very simple premise: John’s (Schwarzenegger’s) daughter is kidnapped as collateral by some mercenaries that want John Matrix (how cool is that name) to assassinate a political figure in a far off country over seas. The flight overseas is 14 hours. That is all the time he has to track the villains, find out his daughter’s location, get to her, and attempt her rescue.
I found that making light of the murders with his catch phrases made the movie less gruesome. After all, they were villains and we wanted him to kill them (come on, they kidnapped his daughter). I also enjoyed the performance of Rae Dawn Chong.
She plays Cindy, an innocent woman that is at first hijacked by John Matrix and forced to do some unpleasant things for him. She is reluctant to help John Matrix (I just love that damn name) at first for good reason, but is eventually won over and becomes his ally.
I liked her anxious flare and watching her arm and discharge a rocket launcher is priceless.
Again, this is a movie that helped create the “cliche action” movies that we make light of and laugh with now. If it was not for movies like this and the Stallone “Rambo” series, we wouldn’t have the pleasure of enjoying movies like “Hot Shots!” I and II. Which I found pleasure in watching, very much.