By 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger had already starred in two Conan movies and the original Terminator. He was delivering solid action performances and had not yet reached a self-aware, post-modern stance that would require himself to wink at the camera before performing over-the-top stunts. However, he had already begun to deliver funny one-liners, but they had not yet become a parody of themselves. It is in this time period that Schwarzenegger, producer Joel Silver, and director Mark L. Lester (Firestarter) released Commando.
A completely unapologetic action film, Commando finds Schwarzenegger as a retired colonel, John Matrix, who once completed, with a team of men, numerous special-ops assignments. Those men are now being murdered and Matrix is drawn back into the world of covert ops when his daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped from under his nose by the killers. They inform Matrix that he must travel to South America and murder a president that he helped install in order for the lead kidnapper, Arius (Dan Hedaya), to be able to take the president's place. Matrix is told that once he accomplishes this mission he will be given back his daughter.
The kidnappers escort Matrix onto a plane, but he manages to escape before the plane gets too high in the air. This leaves him only eleven hours to find his daughter before the plane lands and it is found out he is not on board (these were the days before airphones). Roughly 75 or 80 bloody minutes later, Matrix is reunited with his daughter, having dispatched every bad guy that contemplated looking at him slightly askew.
Once the film gets going, about five or ten minutes in, it stops for nothing, not logic, not good sense, and certainly not any injuries Matrix sustains. He does, as is required by such films, meet a girl, Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), during his mission, who tags along for the rest of the flick. She also just happens to know how to fly a plane, which becomes a crucial plot point. But, as logic in no way enters into the movie, this seems like a perfectly reasonable happenstance.