action movie freak    





(4 October 1985)   90 min.

Director Mark L. Lester
Screenplay by Steven E. de Souza 
Story by Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman, and Steven E. de Souza

"Somewhere, somehow, someone's going to pay."

Everyone's going to pay!

BIG DOG Entrance
The movie begins with an assassination and introduces the bad guys, but it really starts when Arnold enters.  In work boots, khakis, and a white tank top, carrying a chainsaw in one hand, and balancing a 20-foot log on his shoulder with the other, Arnold brings Paul Bunyan to life as he saunters down a hillside like the log weighs nothing. You can see by the strain in the muscles in his neck, however, that it doesn't.  We get close-up shots of his muscles , then of his face, but when he pauses here with the sun behind him . . . uh, huh— big dog entrance.  (photo 'borrowed' from

Cue the adorable daddy-daughter montage and cheesy inspirational music as we are introduced to Alyssa Milano as his daughter, Jenny Matrix, and we see them having fun in lots of different settings.  Of course, Arnold seems to be the perfect Dad. This movie was great fun for many reasons, not the least of which is it showed us what it would be like to have Arnold Schwarzenegger as your Dad. 

Arnold's character is John Matrix, a retired Delta Force Operative Colonel, and it isn't long before the sound of an Army helicopter intrudes into their perfect little out-of-the-way mountain home.

When soldiers disembark and John's former commander Major General Kirby calls out his name, Matrix sneaks up on him and disarms him. It hints at Matrix's skill level a little, and when his daughter makes him promise he won't leave, you know it means he'll have to. Gen. Kirby leaves two soldiers to protect them because someone is killing off Matrix's former men.  No sooner than they are left alone, someone in the bushes riddles the site with bullets, kills one of the soldiers, and wounds the other.  Retreating inside the house, John and Jenny hit the floor, followed by the wounded soldier. John advises him to . . .

MATRIX       Keep an eye out. They'll be coming
                      Remember, you're downwind. The air current may tip them off.

SOLDIER     Down wind? You think I can smell them coming?

MATRIX        I did.

Now we have some idea of his real skill level, other than the fact that this is an Arnold movie: this is a SUPER Arnold movie.  In the space that it takes Matrix to get his rifle from the shed, the attackers have snuck into the house and taken his daughter.  While the head kidnapper is talking shit and telling John he has to cooperate, we expect the 'normal' response.  But John Matrix is not the normal Dad.  When the kidnapper tells him "You gotta cooperate, right?"  Matrix's answer is "Wrong!" with a shot to the head. So unexpected. Fuck negotiating. 

Matrix then runs outside to catch the cars he saw driving away down the hill, but they have disabled his vehicle.  That doesn't stop Super Arnold. He uses gravity to get where he needs to go. "He's coming at us, no brakes".  This should be good.  Pissed and determined there's no stopping Matrix until the vehicle wrecks in a gulch. BIG explosion.  Matrix is surrounded by men with guns but he fights back anyway using one of their guns like a bat, until they overpower him. Turns out one of his former men, Bennett, one he kicked out of his unit, is out for payback. Matrix is then shot with a tranquilizer dart.

When Matrix wakes up, he's restrained and a wanna-be "Arius" tells Matrix he's going to use him to get close to the current President of whatever banana republic "Val Verde", and then he wants Matrix to kill him, so Arius can take over. The current President knows and trusts Matrix.  Until Matrix does this, they are going to hold his daugther.

We get these lines:

MATRIX        I'll be back, Bennett.


MATRIX        You're a funny guy Sully, that's why I'm going to kill you last.

They put Matrix on a plane to Val Verde with an escort. They aren't even off the ground before Matrix kills him and props him up to look like he's sleeping.  Another cheesy line (we love it) . . . "Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired." 

Matrix makes his way into the cargo area and climbs down onto the wheel of the plane, which is in take off.  The runway has a marsh at the end so he jumps and lands in water.  It looks impossible to survive from that height in water that shallow.  You would at that speed think he should have skidded across the water but, it's just a plop and he's off and running back to civilization.  He's got the 11 hours before the plane lands in Val Verde to do something.

And what he does is Action Movie legend. Never has one man been so armed and deady! Of course, it ridiculous that every bullet shot at him misses, but I don't want to spoil the fun. This movie s really The Bible of Arnold!



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