In the immortal words of Neil Peart, changes aren’t permanent, but change is. It is in that spirit that I offer the following bit of information — in a couple of weeks, this column will no longer feature my 10-year-old.
Why, you ask? Because he’s going to be 11. Anyway, in my ongoing quest to turn him into a sophisticated patron of the cinematic arts, this week I had him watch the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Commando.”
Directed by Mark L. Lester, the man who brought us “Roller Boogie,” the movie tells the story of a man whose daughter Jenny, portrayed by a tween Alyssa Milano, is kidnapped by a group of ne’er-do-wells who want him to assassinate the president of a fictional South American country. Really though, the movie could be about almost anything, as long as it’s a pretext for Arnold to go on a violent rampage, which of course he does.
We watched the movie, and while my son was upset that the story has nothing to do with people “going commando,” he was amused to see where The Simpsons got the inspiration for the Rainier Wolfcastle character, whose alter-ego, McBain, dispatches enemies while making stupid jokes about their violent demises. Other than that, he seemed to feel that the movie was stupid, implausible and a waste of 90 minutes. In other words, he loved it! But here’s his take, from the horse’s mouth.
TZR: What did you think of the action scenes in the movie “Commando”?
RB: I thought when he was about to pick up the saw blade he was actually going to turn it on and not throw it at someone.
TZR: Do you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good actor in this movie?
RB: Eh, no. he was terrible. I mean, he was really not good. He was like, “ALL THAT MATTERS NOW IS CHENNY.”
TZR: What was the best joke that Arnold Schwarzenegger made after he killed someone?
RB: After he dropped the guy off the cliff, the girl said, “What happened to the guy?” and he said, “I let him go.” There’s also my second-favorite choice, which was, “Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired.”
TZR: Did you feel like the movie was too violent, or should there have been more dismemberments?
RB: I wanted there to be more dismemberments. I was very disappointed. I expected there to be blood squirting on his face. I wanted that and I didn’t get it. I’m angry now.
TZR: If you showed this movie at your school, do you think your teachers would enjoy it?
RB: No, they would think this is the worst movie ever made. In fact, who even made this movie?