Michael Jai White shoots white people.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned watching The Commando, it’s that director Asif Akbar is a dumbass. One thing I do when I review movies is I look up the director and writer’s portfolio. And while I can understand a new director making a poor film, more often than not they fall into what I call fast food producers. These are guys who have absolutely no interest in films as an art, and just produce mass quantities of low-grade shit food for the paycheck. The big difference being that fast food is made for profit and these films are mostly for tax write-offs and to sell for pennies to sites like Tubi.
You can tell because in 15 years there’s been absolutely no improvement to their work. Asif Akbar has been pumping out trash since 2008, and writer Al Bravo has been in the game since 2006.
The Commando is the product of an idiot director, with Asif Akbar either criminally incompetent or teleconferencing in his directions. I say this merely because the film is full of high school hobby project level inconsistencies and scene direction, with mistakes that should have been blatantly obvious and show that this probably had a few reshoots because Akbar screwed up so many shots to the point where they were unusable. The crew often forgets to put a microphone on actors and in other scenes does not have the audio properly modulated leading to some dialogue peaking. All things that are hilarious in a St. James Street James film, but this isn’t trying to be funny.
Unfortunately the cast is principally made up of actors who you may have used to respect. I still feel a little guilty that I thought Mickey Rourke was a poorly aging woman on the cover of WarHunt, but the man’s been increasingly taking any job that will come his way since 2014’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Rourke has had so much poison pumped into his face that he should qualify for FEMA benefits. The same goes for Michael Jai White, who had is quickly going down the route of Steven Seagal. The positive side is that he can still be somewhat intimidating when he wants to be.
The plot of The Commando is as follows; Michael Jai White is DEA agent James Baker suffering PTSD after a raid goes sour and he accidentally kills three women hostages. This is actually a set-up so the editor can fill up about ten minutes of the 90 minute runtime repeatedly playing the b-roll from the opening scene and legally qualify this as a feature length film. His wife Lisa (Aris Mejía) is naturally concerned that he’s going to shoot a family member in the face during a PTSD-induced sleepwalking episode. Meanwhile his daughters discover the house has secret hidey holes filled with lods of emone.
Anyway, the plot contrivance of this film comes in the form of Mickey Rourke as Johnny because of course he’s named Johnny and has no last name. Johnny is let out of prison and, astoundingly, he left his money in the house with the ring from his dead wife and he wants his stuff back. You can tell that the Wikipedia page for this movie was written by the creators of the film, because it describes Johnny as “Johnny is über-badass, just before his release, he “dealt” with three inmates who tried to skank him right before he was freed.” I also note that Akbar is a moron because someone from the production company wrote this in as well; “One of the highlights is a high schooler getting shot while taking a leak and peeing all over his killer.”
Also the word is shank, not skank, you barely literate bastard.
Actually let’s talk about that scene. Actor Robert Taylor plays Tom, and Robert Taylor is a “high schooler” who looks like he’s pushing into his late 20s. Either way he looks way too old to be sporting that dumbass zoomer haircut and definitely too old for one of his few lines to be “Kiwi is the best Jule flavor, no cap no cap.” He gets shot while taking a piss and pees all over his killer because I’m guessing Akbar watched a baby movie from twenty years ago and was determined to stick that diaper change peeing gag in a film by the end of 2022 regardless of if it made sense. We all know dead people spray piss like a fire hose. It’s pretty impressive that out of everyone in this film, Robert Taylor has the least dignified role outside of Gianni Capaldi who gets pissed on and then shoots him in the dick.
Of course the Scottish guy is the pill popping sociopathic mentally unstable loose cannon who starts murdering people and screws up the plan. I’m pretty sure they wholesale stole parts of the OST from a soap opera reel because in one of the songs you can clearly hear a heartbeat monitor in the background that has no reason to be there and the music itself definitely has a “visiting dying person in a hospital” vibe. Mickey Rourke is in this film so little that he should qualify as a background character, and he doesn’t really do anything until the last seven minutes of the movie.
One positive I will give to the film is that the actors themselves are rarely seen phoning it in. They mostly treat the film like an actual job, unlike Akbar, although Mickey Rourke looks like he took the script on the grounds that he didn’t have to do much. Some of the side characters are clearly overacting and I hope Robert Taylor feels bad about his choices in life, but out of everything in this movie the acting feels the least lazy.
There are 28 listed producers on this film, which is how you know it’s a fraud scheme.
But it’s still subpar garbage.