Commando [1985]

A massively underrated action thriller that kept Arnold Schwarzenegger occupied between mid-'80s blockbusters, Commando may be one of the last shoot-out films ever to have real characters in it. Not, of course, that they're anything other than stereotypes, but they're painted with such detailed, positive strokes that it's impossible not to relate to them. Arnie plays a retired military special-ops officer whose daughter (played with an expert balance of cute/feisty by Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped by the baddest of bad guys, who'll only hand her back as and when he's assassinated a tiresome banana-republic president on their behalf. Needless to say, Arnie is deeply annoyed by this, rescues the moppet single-handed amid more bullets and explosions than you can shake a stuntman's pay cheque at, and... well, why spoil the fun by revealing any more? Co-star Rae Dawn Chong gets some nice one-liners as the innocent bystander who gets caught up in the mayhem. --Roger Thomas

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