When asked which role was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best, most will say The Terminator.
It’s hard not to agree. It did fit his stoic, almost robotic, look. The artist previously viewed as Conan was now nailing the role of an emotionless monster. Arnold’s Terminator spoke a line of infamy (“I’ll be back.”) and propelled the bodybuilder-turned-actor into super stardom.
Few disagree. They are wrong.
Commando (1985) was way better.
As these words are written, images of sneering faces and rolling eyes come to mind. Peer pressure can be an effective opinion changer, but not here. Fortunately, most peers who are versed in Schwarzenegger 80s action lore understand the appreciation for Commando. This appreciation has nothing to do with disliking The Terminator. Instead, this appreciation is based more on the evolution of Arnold as a leading man in the 80s action movie world.
Schwarzenegger played John Matrix. This name alone seals the deal. Fortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
In order to understand this love for Commando, readers must, if possible, transform themselves into an 11 year old boy in 1985.
Once the reader transformation is complete, the list below will provide a clear explanation why Commando is the better movie.
109 kill count with 102 of the killings done by John Matrix.
The strongest period of Arnold’s action movie career ran from 1982 through 1991.
_Year _______ Title______
1982 Conan the Barbarian
1984 Conan the Destroyer
1985 Red Sonja
1986 Raw Deal
The Running Man
1988 Red Heat
1990 Total Recall
1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day