Commando is an action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano (Charmed, Who's The Boss), and Rae Dawn Chong released October 4, 1985.
The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. A critical and commercial success, Commando grossed over $57.5 million against a $10 million budget. The film debuted at number one in the United States and spent three consecutive weeks at the top position. It was the 7th highest-grossing R-rated movie of 1985 worldwide, and the 25th highest-grossing overall.
The plot has retired Special Forces Colonel John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) informed by his former Commanding Officer, Major General Franklin Kirby (James Olson), that all the other members of his former unit have been killed by unknown mercenaries, despite having new identities provided them by the government. These mercenaries, which includes a man called Bennett (Vernon Wells), an Australian member of Matrix's team fired for excessive violence, and thought to be killed by the same attackers that killed Matrix's other team members, attack Matrix's secluded mountain home and kidnap Matrix's young daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano). While trying to intercept them, Matrix is overpowered, abducted, and taken before their leader, Arius (Dan Hedaya, Dick), a South American former dictator who needs Matrix to carry out a political assassination in his home country of Val Verde, where Arius wishes to lead a military coup. Matrix previously led a United States-backed revolution that deposed Arius, who chose Matrix because the new US president trusts him implicitly. With Jenny's life on the line, Matrix reluctantly accepts the demand.
After boarding a plane to Val Verde, Matrix manages to kill his guard and jumps from the plane just as it is taking off, setting out after another of Arius' men, Sully (David Patrick Kelly), enlisting the aid of an off-duty flight attendant, Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), instructing her to follow Sully to a shopping mall. Cindy first assumes that Matrix is a maniac, but after seeing Sully pull a gun on Matrix in the ensuing fight, she has a change of heart and assists him in his endeavor. After a lengthy car chase, Matrix catches up with Sully and drops him off a cliff to his death. Taking a motel key from Sully's jacket, Matrix tracks down and confronts Cooke (Bill Duke), a former Green Beret in Arius' employ, in the motel, killing him after learning where Jenny is being held.
Matrix breaks into a surplus store to equip himself with military weaponry, but is immediately arrested by police. Cindy helps him escape with a rocket launcher and, after commandeering a seaplane from a nearby marina controlled by Arius, Matrix and Cindy land the plane off the coast of Arius' island hideout. Matrix instructs Cindy to contact General Kirby and then proceeds to Arius' villa, killing the leader as well as his men along the way. Jenny escapes her confinement to the villa's basement, but is re-captured by Bennett. Matrix tracks them and faces Bennett in a fierce struggle until Matrix fatally impales Bennett with a steam pipe. Kirby arrives with a military detachment and asks Matrix to rejoin the Special Forces Unit, but Matrix declines, departing the island aboard the seaplane with Jenny and Cindy.
The film also stars Bill Paxton and Drew Snyder.
The film was shot entirely in California. San Nicolas Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, to which Matrix flies to rescue his daughter, was filmed on the Pacific coast at San Simeon, and the barracks that are "attacked" are actually beach properties belonging to the Hearst Castle Estate. The house that Matrix storms at 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.
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