Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1985 classic combat flick Commando did a lot to propel the actor’s career well beyond the stoic, barely-verbose roles he was forced to take in his early days. Schwarzenegger himself liked the premise because it gave him the opportunity to start out as a normal, everyday guy. Audiences loved the film, despite it being jeered continuously due to tossing any semblance of realism into the wood chipper.
Here’s 10 things about Commando that make absolutely no sense, whatsoever. From odd police protocol, to dumb onlookers, and even military weapons sold at the local gun store, there’s plenty of head-scratching going on!
10 Nice ‘Nades
A Special Forces Commando of Matrix’s stature would be a walking tome of combat knowledge, yet the character makes many mistakes throughout the course of the film that even greenies would balk at. One such glaring error is the hooking of grenades onto his tactical vest.
While this kind of thing has been seen in other action movies from the 1980s, it’s no less silly. The risk of accidentally pulling a pin from the grenade and turning yourself into bite-sized Commando Cutlets would be immediate grounds for a severe reprimand from your C.O.
9 Come Along Peacefully
John Matrix looks like he could bench-press a Cadillac while smoking a Cuban cigar, and it would make perfect sense. What makes less sense, however, is the police refusing to put such a man in handcuffs after catching him busting into a gun store. A gun store!
Yes, it’s true. The police take Matrix into custody in a rather nonchalant manner, which is weird to say the least. It’s far more likely Matrix would have earned himself an entire SWAT detail, complete with a helicopter.
8 Silent Takedown
While sitting on a cramped plane with a bad guy who has been ordered to make sure he lands at his destination, Matrix takes a brief moment to knock him out, before breaking his neck and propping his head onto a pillow to make it seem like he’s “dead tired.”
In reality, a strike of this magnitude would hardly have gone unnoticed, even in First Class! Nobody bats a lash, or hears a thing, which is a bit strange given the windup, and the resulting commotion as the guy is knocked back in his seat, sending papers flying everywhere!
7 Unlimited Ammo Cheat
For some inexplicable reason, Matrix managed to find the only M60 in military service with a never-ending supply of ammunition. During the final shootout, Matrix’s ammo belt never seems to run dry, nor does the M60, itself.
With no backup ammo at his disposal, it’s a wonder how this one-man army seemed to luck out in the best way possible, by finding the one gun with a cheat code attached to it. Then again, it makes for a far more entertaining action scene.
6 Civilian Grade Rocket Launchers
While Commando should be taken with a hefty grain of salt as nothing more than an entertaining action flick, some scenes simply leap too far from reality to be taken seriously. One such scene involves Matrix acquiring a rocket launcher at Surplus City.
It’s a safe bet that military-grade rocket launchers were not suitable either for home defense or sport hunting, which makes its presence all the more puzzling. It even comes with an instruction manual, which Rae Dawn Chong’s character references. It’s possible the Surplus City owners were running an illegal weapons ring behind the scenes, but how would Matrix have known?
5 Everybody Knows Sully
Everyone’s favorite scene involves Matrix dangling the slimy Sully over a cliff by his ankle, only to let him drop to his death once he gets the intel he needs from him. What’s weird is how Cindy seems to know his name, despite Matrix never mentioning him.
After killing Sully, Matrix returns to the car, and Cindy asks him plainly “What did you do with Sully?” She should never have known his name in the first place.
4 You Failed Geography
Midway through the film, Matrix busts into a military bunker and checks coordinates on a map, which he later says are “somewhere near Santa Barbara.” Unfortunately, his geography is way off, as the coordinates reference a spot over 80 miles from Santa Barbara.
What’s interesting is that the Santa Barbara line doesn’t even agree with what’s going on in the scene. Matrix points specifically to San Nicholas Island, the true spot where the coordinates converge.
3 Why Advertise Your Presence?
During the scene when Matrix tracks Sully to a mall, we see the latter meeting up with a Hispanic man in a bar who passes him documents and passports under a table in exchange for cash. Sully then exits the bar and sees Matrix battling several police officers trying to apprehend him.
After chasing Sully down and attracting more police, the Hispanic man runs out of the bar with a gun in his hand, and begins shooting at the cops. This makes no sense, as he was never under suspicion, nor was he being watched by security. He could have easily waltzed out the front entrance with no one being the wiser.
2 Procrastination Nation
Nothing says “I have to save my daughter before time runs out” better than suiting up at the last minute in unfamiliar enemy territory. That’s exactly what Matrix does when he hits the shoreline, for no other reason than some glamour shots in the sunlight.
A man of Matrix’s caliber would have taken the opportunity to prep his equipment and suit up during the plane ride, rather than storm the beach in a swimsuit. Besides, without the cover of darkness, there’s every possibility he would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
1 Supercharged Sunbeam
Cindy’s red car is a Sunbeam Alpine, first made famous in the James Bond 007 flick Dr. No. It’s also the car used to chase down Sully in his Porsche 911, which begs the question – was it even a fair contest to begin with?
After all, Cindy’s particular Sunbeam Alpine (the Series IV) could only muster a scant 82 horsepower, compared to the 911’s base output of 150. The ’76 911 model had 165 hp under the hood, while the S cranked out 175 hp. For all intents and purposes, Matrix should have been left in the dust, with Sully long gone.