Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Commando (1988)

”We are the freaks”, sings Freddie Wadling, Cortex, in the beginning of the eighties. I feel like a freak for loving Commando so much, because I guess every scientific investigation prove that Commando, starring Mithun Chakraborty, is pure shallow crap. But what had the world come to if we listen to what the scientists told us every time? The earth would still be flat and we would fear the people that live above the clouds. Starring Bengali superstar (aren’t they all?) Mithun Chakraborty with his faithful sidekick, Hemant Birje and the story, yes the story… what can I say? It has to be seen to be believed!

Similar to Ankhen, this is also by a big organization that plans and executes terrorist attacks around India, trying to get Hindus and Muslims against each other. But first we start in 1988, judging by the fashion were we meet young Chander who is thought by his patriotic father to do silly gymnastics, in identical clothes as him, to give his life for motherland India. And that’s what happens: his father dies a bloody death protecting Indira Gandhi. Jump forward, to 1988 (judging by the fashion) and Chander is now a young slightly over-aged young man who wants to take revenge on those who killed his father. He starts working at a weapon factory and discovers that one of the bosses sells guns to the terrorists, the SAME terrorist who killed his father! But he’s gonna get a hard time, because the villain has the deadliest of deadly weapon: Ninjas!

I really wish you could have watched this movie together with me, because the Insanity knows no boundaries! The whole movie starts with a rip-off of the beginning scene in Mark L. Lesters Commando, you know that father-kid stuff. Then it becomes something that could be described as a very cheap Golan/Globus production, complete with Godfrey Ho ninjas and lots of slow-mo and kung fu. And stunts. And an accordion cover of Opus Life is Life plus a healthy dose of Star Wars music (and this is the first time I think John Williams terrible score is used properly and entertaining). We’re treated to three bigger ninja-scenes, first the typical ninja-playground were all ninjas train and jumps on trampolines. Fun! Then a nice fight inside a warehouse were Chander himself takes down a gang of ninjas! The master ninja himself is named Ninja and is played by one of the coolest Indian actors ever, the awesome Danny Denzongpa! Seriously, he’s the most evil-looking character actor the world has seen (the last big movie you could see him in was in Robot… as the bad guy!).

A lot of shoot-outs and a couple of the silliest song- and dance number’s so far, the last one being slightly homo-erotic. But it could be the alcohol the characters drinking in that scene. Without any warning a half-naked man only wearing a tie and shorts jumps on Mac Mohan and kisses him, and it looks very awkward in the shit and the only thing left of it is like a couple of frames.

So, after all these ninjas and shoot-outs, didn’t we all expect a similar final? Yes, but hey… this is India and if there’s a good movie to be copied… yeah, the whole final is a shot-for-shot version of Where Eagles Dare! All the way with the bus in the snowy landscape to the airplane, and with at least as much action but with less money! The miniatures are extremely primitive, toy-cars falling of cliffs and not so realistic houses exploding. But that’s ok, as long as it’s not boring!

Ah, I forgot to mention that scene in the middle were our hero and the girl meets a chubby guy over in enemy land, dances with him and then takes a ride with his flying car. But I’ll let you discover that yourself. Commando is a fun ride, a crazy motherf**ker of Indian movies. A fun cast, lots of action and a familiar score makes this something you need to own. And don’t forget that the evil mastermind, the villain, is played by Amrish Puri – for famous for his part as Mola Ram in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! Maybe it’s trash for most people, but for me it’s just love.

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