Commando is a 1985 action film directed by Mark L. Lester and produced by Joel Silver. The screenplay was written Steven E. de Souza based on the story by himself, Joseph Loeb III and Matthew Weisman. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke and Dan Hedaya.
The storyline follows retired United States Army Special Forces Colonel John Matrix, who lives in a secluded mountain home with his daughter Jenny. Informed by his former superior Major General Franklin Kirby that all the other members of his former Special Forces unit have been killed by unknown mercenaries, he is forced out of retirement when he and his daughter are kidnapped by a band of ruthless mercenaries intent on taking revenge. Matrix learns that Bennett, a former member of his unit who was presumed dead has kidnapped him to try to force Matrix to do a political assassination for a man called Arius (who calls himself El Presidente), a warlord formerly friended by Matrix who wishes to lead a military coup in his home country. Since Arius will have Jenny killed if Matrix refuses, Matrix reluctantly accepts the demand.
Principal photography was shot on location in California. San Nicolas Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, was used in the scene when Matrix flies in to rescue his daughter, was filmed on the Pacific coast at San Simeon. The scene where the barracks are attacked was actually beach properties belonging to the Hearst Castle Estate. The house that Matrix storms in the film’s climax was actually the former main residence of the Harold Lloyd Estate in the Benedict Canyon district of Beverly Hills. The car chase scene between Sully and Matrix starts on Ventura Blvd and moves into the hills on Benedict Canyon. The Sherman Oaks Galleria, in Sherman Oaks, California, served as the film’s shopping mall location.
When Commando was released it received mixed reviews from the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 71% with the general consensus being, “The ultimate ’80s Schwarzenegger movie, replete with a threadbare plot, outsized action, and endless one-liners.”. The magazine Variety wrote, “While it’s not in the class of Schwarzenegger’s last hit (The Terminator), Commando is actually superior to Rambo: First Blood Part II because of its deft mixture of humor and action (with most of the action brushed with humor) and its deliberate evasion of any political message”.
Commercially, Commando was a box office success. Produced with an estimated $9 million production budget it took $7,700,015 in its opening weekend box office reciepts, debuting at number one in the US charts and spent a further three consecutive weeks in that position. Overall Commando, took $35,100,000 in the US box office and $22,391,000 internationally, giving $57.5 million in worldwide box office reciepts. Commando was the 7th highest-grossing R-rated movie of 1985 worldwide, and the 25th highest-grossing overall. Also the film was nominated for Best Special Effects at the Saturn Award but lost out to Back to the Future.
Year of Film
Mark L. Lester
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa+Milano, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke, Dan Hedaya, James Olson, Michael Delano, David Patrick Kelly
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Thriller
Budget: $9,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $7,700,015 (USA)
Gross: $57,491,000 (Worldwide)
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