The very best of the Governator
"Commando": "Commando" is a film that for the '80s that was way ahead of its time. While the plot could have very well been turned into a tense action thriller leaving you on the edge of your seat, instead they had fun with it. The film works almost as a satire on American action films with an over the top performance from Schwarzenegger as a retired commando father who goes after his daughter's kidnappers. Filled with plenty of action and comedy throughout, "Commando" really set the bar for how an action comedy could be done.
"Predator": If we're being honest, this film could have worked better without The Governator. When you put Mr. Universe up against an alien hunter species it makes for an interesting fight, but the audience cannot invest in the fear the man must feel the same way we did for Ripley in "Alien." That being said, "Predator" is still a good action movie with a lot of great action sequences. The "Predator" franchise continues today despite its questionable quality. This is certainly a must see for fans of sci-fi action and Schwarzenegger.
The "Terminator" franchise: We all knew this was going on this list. In the future, machines and computers became so smart that they became self-aware and launched a nuclear attack on the human race killing almost the entire planet. The survivors fight back, while the machines send an android back in time to assassinate the leader's mother. While obviously type casted, Schwarzenegger was perfect for the role as the violent robot sent back in time. He even managed to add some heart and soul to the character in its two sequels. Ignore the recent disaster that was "Terminator: Salvation," but watch the first three and ask yourself why our society is coming so close to having machines that can actually do these things when we were warned so many years ago.
"Total Recall": This film falls in the same category as "Commando." Filled with over-the-top violence and humor throughout, it still manages to be an intense thrill ride. Schwarzenegger stars as a man in the future tired of his normal life and wife, dreaming of excitement. After hearing of a place where memories can be implanted into your brain to avoid paying for a vacation, he gives it a try only to awaken and find that he may actually be a secret agent with many out to kill him. Schwarzenegger may only work in this film given its comic nature and over the top absurdity, but it really works so well and is unquestionably a classic.
"True Lies": You've probably noticed by now the best movies Arnold has done are the ones where we only need to take things between the action half seriously. "True Lies" is no different. The action comedy concerns a government agent whose wife is unaware of his true identity and dreams of a more exciting life. When he tries to show her the truth, he involves her and his family in a huge terrorist conspiracy. Like most classic Arnold movies, there is a lot of action and a lot of laughs. Fun fact: a sequel was intended, but after September 11 nobody thought that audiences would find terrorism funny anymore.
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