Just as there was no stopping John Matrix when it came to rescuing his daughter from the clutches of an exiled Latin American dictator in Commando, there appears to be no stopping the juggernaut that has become rehashing the 80s movies.
The heavy-duty action vehicle that helped Arnold Schwarzenegger crash and bash his way to the top of the Hollywood pile has now joined the convoy of fellow retro renegades – including The A-Team, Snake Plissken and many more – about to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new millennium.
And, putting all moaning aside for a moment, Deadline has reported that 20th Century Fox has tapped the respected David Ayer to head up a new Commando mission by writing and directing the remake.
Ayer, himself an ex-submariner in the United States Navy, wrote the screenplay for the brilliant Training Day, as well as U-571 and Dark Blue, and co-wrote The Fast and The Furious and S.W.A.T.. He also wrote and directed the underrated Harsh Times (which starred Christian Bale) and Street Kings.
From that reasonably impressive track record, there is little doubt Ayer will be bringing a grittier, more realistic edge to the no-holds-barred Commando, presumably at the expense of the light-hearted Schwarzenegger-isms that were peppered throughout the fun original directed by Mark L. Lester.
Commando – in which Schwarzenegger played a former special forces Colonel who was content to lug trees around in retirement before his daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano), is kidnapped from under his nose – was the film that really started the ball rolling when it came to the big Austrian’s cheesy one-liners. Who could forget such classics as “Let off some steam, Bennett,” or “Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired.”
It’s one of the reasons why a Commando remake will be met with criticism. Schwarzenegger is Commando. And it begs the question, why remake it?
Deadline says that Ayer’s protagonist will be less brawny, but more skilled in covert tactics and weaponry.
Putting aside the fact we have already seen something very similar to Commando in Taken – in which Liam Neeson starred as an ex-CIA operative (who you could say was reasonably skilled in covert tactics and weaponry) who must save his daughter from the slave trade – why not put the talented Ayer to better use and create a whole new daddy-daughter revenge-rescue flick?
Of course, that would also allow any lead actor to bypass having to fill Schwarzenegger’s sizeable shoes…probably a blessing.