As much as I love the fact that action movies have evolved over the years to become smarter with fantastic tension and realism – Transformers and Fast and Furious franchises excluded – I still love the classic action movies of the 1980s where the heroes didn’t need high-tech machinery and plenty of friends to take on the bad guys. Instead, we saw one-man armies take on mountains of cannon fodder villains, gaining nary a scratch in the process and delivering loads of explosions and ridiculous one-liners. You always knew that the good guys were going to survive, the bad guys would get blasted and it provided the perfect light-hearted distraction even if many of us were simply too young to know any better.
One of those classic films from that time was 1985’s Commando, which saw Arnold Schwarzenegger star as John Matrix, a special forces soldier who took on an entire army after bad guy Bennett kidnapped his daughter. It’s like Taken, but with far less subtlety and far more gunpowder. It was also one of those popular action movies that surprisingly didn’t get a sequel despite it being one of the movies that cemented Schwarzenegger’s place as a bonafide action hero.
In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, Bennet himself, Vernon Wells, revealed how there were initial talks of a prequel to the movie that was going to explore the relationship of Matrix and Bennett before they landed up on opposing sides:
Somebody in the business said to me a while ago that they’re thinking of doing another Commando. I thought they meant a reboot, so I was like, ‘They can’t redo Commando. It’s a classic. It’s so kitsch,’ but they said they’re not planning on redoing it, they’re thinking of doing a prequel and putting me in it. That would work. They were thinking of doing the prequel about where it all started, how the relationship soured between us, how I became the villain, and how Arnie’s character Matrix became the good guy. Rumours are flying around all the time, but it was interesting that somebody was seriously talking about it. And we don’t know for sure that Bennett died. He might not have.”
I might not always be keen on Hollywood remakes and sequels, but considering the original is 35 years old – yes, it’s that long ago – I think the timing would be perfect to delve into a classic story like this, provided they keep its cheesy action 80s roots firmly intact. Finding people who would be able to star as the younger Bennett and Matrix though might prove a little more difficult to find.
Last Updated: April 23, 2020