Everybody loves a good action flick, more specifically, everybody loves Commando. It was one of the very first action movies that we saw Arnold star in aside from Terminator, and this film even predates his earlier blockbusters such as Predator.
It’s been over three decades since the movie first hit the big screen, and it goes down as one of Arnold’s most notable works. Though there are a few bits of behind the scenes trivia that most people missed, and we’re sure these facts will brighten up your future rewatches
10 They Used The Same Mall From Terminator 2
If you think you noticed a familiar setting when viewing Commando again, then you’re correct. The Northridge Fashion Center served as a shooting location for two of Arnold’s blockbusters due to the teenage culture that saw many teens flock to malls in the 80s.
This is the same mall that we see a young John Conner first meet Arnold as the T-800, and the same one where Matrix hoists up Sully in the phone booth. The mall has been renovated throughout the years and doesn’t feature many of the iconic landmarks from the movies.
9 Arnold Didn't Care For The Proposed Sequel's Script
Arnold didn’t pick up a script he didn’t believe in, and this went double for sequels. He even used his nit-pickiness to bait Stallone into taking bad movies during their 80s rivalry. Can you blame him? He saw huge success from his previous choices, and knew the dangers of going into it blindly.
His dislike for the script came from the plot, with it being centered around Jenny and Cindy being trapped inside a corporate building, and Matrix having to extract them. To this day, Arnold still hasn’t shown much interest in reprising his role.
8 It's Responsible For The Die Hard Franchise
Did that Commando 2 script seem just a tad too familiar? You can thank Arnold for turning it down in the first place, though he may not have been too happy later on. Commando writer Steven de Souza rewrote the script by changing the main characters and adjusting some key plot elements.
The end result was the first entry in the Die Hard franchise, featuring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. As great as a Commando 2 would be, we still have to be thankful for the franchise that took its place.
7 Arnold Wasn't The First Choice
Picture an ex-special forces member just trying to live a peaceful life with his daughter, and being played by Gene Simmons. Certainly not what we would expect from Simmons, especially since Kiss hadn’t even begun to hit their peak throughout the 80s.
After Simmons showed no interest in the role, it went to Nick Nolte, a much better option in our opinion. Nolte had many serious roles under his belt in the 80s but, like Simmons, he didn’t really care to be a part of the project. We’re just happy Arnold was able to land this one instead.
6 It Shares A Universe With Many Franchises
Commando shares a universe with two other huge franchises: Predator and Die Hard. Each movie references a certain fictional location: Val Verde. Steven de Souza explains that the General from Die Hard 2 is from this country, and it’s the hunting ground for the Predator.
This only leaves us to ask if these movies are somehow connected. Did Matrix join up with another spec-squad in Val Verde as Dutch before running into the Predator? Does McClane know about The Predator? Or did they just reuse the same fictional location for creative convenience?
5 Matrix's Kill Count Is 102
Even by today’s action movie standards, this is a pretty impressive number for just a lone soldier. Matrix certainly brought his weight to the table in firearms and his years of experience made quick work of 102 separate henchmen throughout the movie.
The last kill is one of Matrix most memorable, with Arnold receiving an actual scar in the knife fight from Vince. Keep in mind that number is hardly matched in the Bond franchise, with Pierce Brosnan being the deadliest of all of them, and averaging 33 kills per movie.
4 Arnie Got Proficient In Martial Arts
Arnold's massive frame meant that finding a realistic stunt double was going to be near impossible. This pretty much forced the actor to do his own stunts and take the time to perfect all the moves. Pairing up with a renowned choreographer named Michael Mandrell, Arnold started to get everything down pat in no time.
So much so that Mindrell believes Arnold held the training equivalent to a second-degree black belt. The director even hired an army consultant to help him with moves that are taught to special forces operators.
3 Rambo Was The Box Office Rival
Earlier in this list we noted that Arnold would often poke fun at Stallone’s career, and act interested in bad roles that he knew Stallone would jump on. Take Antz for an example, when Arnold was asked to play the role of Weaver, his rates were too high.
When Stallone found out about this, he offered to do it for free. Stallone had seen his own success with movies like Rocky and Rambo but was still seen as a huge action rival by Schwarzenegger during his initial debut in action flicks.
2 They Used The Beverly Hills Mansion
This is another huge movie landmark that not everybody catches the first go-round. The mansion that Matrix raids at the very end of the movie is the very same one that Axel Foley raids in Beverly Hills Cop.
It’s not as noticeable as the mall, but there are certain frames in the movies where you can see the backyards clearly match each other, and the location of the mansion isn’t that far off from the mall itself. Here’s to hoping that somehow Beverly Hills Cops ties in with Val Verde.
1 There Are More Stuntmen Than Actors
As little known as it is, this one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. After all, Matrix did kill 81 separate henchmen throughout the movie, and some of those kills are collateral from explosives and stray bullets.
None of the action scenes would be as memorable if it were just the same seven actors falling and jumping in different parts of the set. This isn’t to say that the number is huge, there are only 15 more stuntmen involved in the movie, with the number being a respectable 54.