After he was the Terminator and before he battled the Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger was retired Delta Force Operative Colonel John Matrix whose daughter is kidnapped by mercenaries who want to use her as leverage to make Matrix perform an assassination of the now president of Val Verde, so South American dictator Arius played by Dan Hedaya who Matrix helped to overthrow, can regain control.
All neat and tidy...well it might have been if the Austrian Oak, who can actually carry one and smell baddies from downwind, would just cooperate right?...wrong, he'd rather shoot them!
Now this movie was never to be taken seriously, so please disengage and eject that part of your brain that says he could never push that SUV on his own or pick up that phone booth and spin it over his back or fall from the undercarriage of... Oh hell let’s just disengage the brain entirely and hand me the popcorn.
Matrix old team has systematically been killed, leading to his old Major General to find and warn him. This unfortunately leads the mercenaries to Matrix secluded mountain retreat where he has been living peacefully with his daughter who is then kidnapped by one of his believed assassinated ex-team members Bennet played to the max by Vernon Wells.
What results is one of the best action movies of the eighties with Matrix careering down a steep tree lined hill in a car with no brakes, a plane journey with an impromptu exit, a shopping mall fist fight that has him engaging multiple security guards including a triple hit combination on one particular guard that has yet to be rivalled and then swinging from the Malls ceiling with its own decorations. A one on one fight in a motel room with Cooke played by the great Bill Duke resulting a rather gruesome departure, car chases, shoot outs, a very inventive use of circular saws, exploding buildings, an ingenious way to deadhead your roses and the end fight against Bennet that has you punching the air like it was a Rocky movie.
Combine this with an energetic soundtrack and some of the best one liners ever to grace our cinema screens including "You're a funny guy Sully, I like you, that's why I'm going to kill you last." or "I eat Green Berets for breakfast...and right now I'm very hungry." and not forgetting "John, I'm not going to shoot you between the eyes, I'm going to shoot you between the balls!" along with the staple Schwarzenegger "I'll be back" and "Trust me."
There have been a few changes over the years with an Unrated Edition which adds some background on Johns past and reinstating scenes originally censored and cut by the BBFC. A sequel was planned but Arnold was not interested, it was to be based on a book by Roderick Thorp called Nothing Last Forever, which would later become another little action movie...Die Hard.
So sit back with this Arnold classic, read the instructions on your M202A1 FLASH rocket launcher, because you never know when it will come in handy and..."Let of some steam Bennet!!" (And you thought I’d forgot).