It is a popular plot point in many action films: ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time… Or actually for us action fans it’s more like: in the right place at the right time, isn’t it? Because it is exactly where the fun is at. The Hindi film Commando uses this plot piece as well and proves to be kind of a mix of Rambo and, yeah well, Commando; Bollywood style.
A girl named Simrit (played by Pooja Chopra) runs away from home because she is forced into marrying the bad guy (Jaideep Ahlawat). While doing so, she bumps into a commando on the run named Karan (Vidyut Jammwal) who saves her. Together they flee into the woods, getting into a hairy situation.
What happens next is a cat and mouse game between the ruthless baddie with an army of disposable henchmen and the one man army super commando who gets a weak spot for the girl he is protecting; all very familiar territory in the action genre. It is martial arts star Vidyut Jammwal that is the most eye catching and exciting part of the film. He was born for this kind of role, has some awesome moves up his sleeves and gets enough chances to show it off. Model turned actor, his acting does feel kind of stiff, but he does have the aura of an action hero. And that is something an action based movie like this desperately needs.
So, since this movie is an actioner at its core, how does it hold up on that front? Pretty good I would say. Some of the action scenes could have used a bit better editing and way less slow motion, but when Jammwal gets to use his skills it’s a definite win. He is the action. If you look him up, you’ll find out the guy knows what he is doing. He has been training in the martial arts since he was 3 years old and after his debut role in 2011’s Force it was the right choice to give him his own movie to star in. The film was highly promoted with the fact that Jammwal did all of the stunts himself without any wirework or cgi, something that makes the action even cooler.
A thing I do have to get off my chest is that the film features one of the most annoying antagonists ever, played by Ahlawat. He has this thing where he keeps taking off his sunglasses to reveal his all white spooky looking eyes. Every time he does this, threatening music plays and he starts acting all “menacing”. It happens again and again and it isn’t hard to dislike him at all because it just starts to get really annoying pretty quickly. Let’s just say it feels really good when our hero finally gets to give him an ass-whooping.
All in all, Commando is an ok action flick, not exactly great, but just ok. There are different cuts of the film with the original cut running over 2 hours long. The international cut is only 100 minutes, as it has dropped out the music videos that we see in most Indian films. This makes for a more slim and fast paced version. As you read earlier, the plot is very simple and nothing is deep going in the film except for Jammwal’s fist into his opponents’ face. It leaves us with a mediocre film that has some good action here and there but ends up being kind of forgettable with mostly misses in stead of hits. But if you watch the film for Jammwal’s moves in some ok action scenes, you’ll be pleased.