"Commando" is still one of the most-liked 80s combat movies. With "Terminator" Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the leading role, the movie´s thrilling action scenes and offbeat humor still make it a classic.
Now lets face the "so-called" Director's Cut. Unfortunately, this version is not much of what you expect from a directors cut these days. There are not many changes, very few newly added blood scenes and only two small extended plot scenes in this directors cut.
Presumably, the studio is just trying to raise some more money from the name "Schwarzenegger", which is still a very attractive brand for action movies.
However, the directors cut includes audio commentary with the director and should be a hot-pick for anyone who hasn´t got this movie in his (or her) DVD shelf yet.
Now, lets compare the running times:
Unrated: 01:31.51 Min. NTSC incl. end credits
R-Rated: 01:30.13 Min. NTSC incl. end credits
Unrated: 01:28.49 Min. NTSC excl. end credits
R-Rated: 01:27.09 Min. NTSC excl. end credits
We compared US-DVD from 20th Century Fox (R-Rated) with US-DVD: 20th Century Fox - Director's Cut (Unrated) for this report. The results are as follows:
1 audio censorship
2 extended plot scenes
4 explicit violence censorship cuts
Final result = 101 seconds NTSC (1 min. 41 sek.) (added cut-out time), details coming up now:
Timecode Unrated (UR): 26.25
Timecode R-Rated (RR): 26.23
Arius tells kidnapped Jenny that if Matrix should cooperate with them, she will meet her Dad again pretty soon. Her reply differs in the unrated and R-rated version. In the R-rated, she prefers to smash Arius' head while she wants to see her dad kicking Arius' ass in the director's cut.
no time difference
Timecode DC: 30.58
An additional scene during the car-chase with Matrix and his new female friend. She tells him that her name is Cindy, he is ignoring her. She is asking for his name. His hesitative reply: "Matrix, John Matrix". Further, Cindy is also asking about his profession. Matrix tells her that he is colonel of the US Army, which does not seem to impress her at all.
Timecode DC: 43.29
After Matrix threw Sully off the cliff, they go back to the motel, hoping to meet the other villains there. Matrix is telling Cindy what happened: That the villains kidnapped his daugther to make him do a job for them. If he refused the deal, they would kill Jenny.
Cindy asks if the job is already done now, but he denies and tells her that he needs to find his daugther as soon as possible to save her life.
The following scene was added into the director's cut:
Cindy is asking John about Jenny's mother and what happened to her. He tells her that she died when she gave birth and he adds that the was stationed with the US Army in Laos by that time. Cindy is asking for more details about his time in Laos and what he did when he was there, but he only tells her that there were "special things" for him to do, thing she should better not know about, things he would very much like to forget. He tells her that this time of his life is over now. After that, you see Cindy looking at him for 2 more seconds.
The R-rated contiues when Matrix says that Jenny is the one thing that is of interest for him now.
Timecode DC: 01:16.53
Injured Matrix is escaping into the bower on Arius´ ground. The villains surround the bower and start shooting. One of them enters the bower to check on Matrix´ dead body, but suprisingly he is very much alive and putting a rake into the soldiers´ belly.
The director's cut shows an additional closeup of the scene.
Timecode DC: 01:16.59
Another enemy getting hit with a sawblade. R-Rated version shows the arm of the man is being hit, but the director's cut shows in closeup that the sawblade gets stuck in the man´s throat. He is spitting some blood and some blood is also spilling from his throat.
Timecode SPIO/JK: 01:15.27
R-rated version is showing the hit arm longer for a little moment.
Timecode DC: 01:17.05
The next fellow is meeting an axe. Director's cut shows an additional closeup of his face twisted with pain, right before he goes down.
Timecode SPIO/JK: 01:15.32
R-rated showing a little longer how the axe is moving into his balls.
Timecode DC: 01:17.09
Maxrix is knocking one guy´s arm off with some sort of bushwhacker knife. Director's cut shows the guy touching his bloody stump for a little longer, you see Matrix dropping the arm as well. Then another shot showing the guy on the ground, followed by Matrix grabbing the guy´s rifle.
Timecode SPIO/JK: 01:15.34
R-rated shows Matrix grabbing the rifle a little earlier.