Commando: Director's Cut Mark L. Lester

Commando: Director's Cut Mark L. Lester

Was there anybody, or anything, better than Arnold Schwarzenegger in the ’80s? You know there wasn’t. Despite being recognised most for The Terminator, Arnie’s most exaggerated, action-packed and steel drum-heavy feature of the decade was 1985’s Commando. From the memorable one-liners to the one-man wrecking crew who made Stallone’s Rambo just an average Joe with a headband, this is the ultimate "guy’s night in” flick. Commando also has one of the most hilarious introductions to an action flick, as retired elite commando John Matrix (Arnie) and his daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) feed deer, go fishing and hug a lot. Fast forward to the end and he’s chopping off arms and scalping a dude with a saw blade. What emotional range! The reason for this turn is the kidnapping of Jenny by one of Matrix’s former soldiers, the unforgettable Bennett, who’s portrayed with flamboyance in chains and leather by the moustachioed Vernon Wells. (Lester points out: "People said Bennett had a little gay feeling to him.”) "[Matrix] has to take on a whole army,” adds Lester in the commentary when Arnie raids the estate where Jenny is being held captive, which is pretty much the point of the film: he kills everyone. This director’s cut is much more violent, which is hard to believe, but the increase in blood and gore is noticeable. Lester is a total nerd in his commentary, acting far too proud of his "favourite from a 28-film career.” He drops anecdotes about Arnie’s haircut starting a "national craze” at the time, and hints that James Bond inspired certain scenes and lines. But he reduces Arnie to a sissy boy, telling about a dinner the two had where the ex-bodybuilder revealed how scared he was of acting. Sensitive Arnold apparently didn’t like shooting machine guns either, and got cut up jumping through candy glass, to which Lester again points out how scared he was. Not a wise move, Lester! "Pure Action” and "Let Off Some Steam” are celebratory featurettes filled with interviews and Arnie impersonations, pointing out the film’s non-stop violence and lighter side thanks to the plethora of memorable quotes. There’s one great deleted scene where a selection of one-liners are shown to emphasise Bennett’s righteous pipe-through-the-chest death. (Fox)