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Commando: A One Man Army

International Premiere
  • India
  • 2013
  • 124 mins
  • DCP
  • Hindi
  • English (subtitles)

Abandoned to the hands of Chinese forces by his own government, Karan spends months under torture in an attempt to extract a confession out of him. However, Karan is not your typical soldier. He’s a commando, the cream of the crop. He manages to escape while being transported to his execution and starts to make his way out of China towards his home base in Pathankot. Having reached the border town of Himachal, he runs into Simrit, a young woman desperate to escape the pursuing clutches of the henchmen of Amrit, a notorious kingpin who wants to marry Simrit to strengthen his hold on the city. Warning them to leave the girl alone, Karan’s fury is unleashed when they don’t follow his advice. His anger having subsided, he soon realizes that he inadvertently worsened Simrit’s predicament and accepts to escort her across the border. A humiliated Amrit swears before the entire village that he will have his revenge, initiating a game of cat-and-mouse between himself and Karan that takes place in the woods of the Himachali wilderness.

Take FIRST BLOOD, replace Stallone with a Tony Jaa type, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what COMMANDO: A ONE MAN ARMY will look like. Dilip Ghosh transports us back to what were once the bread and butter of American cinema: plain and simple action films. Never trying to reinvent the wheel, he offers us two solid hours of delirious cinema featuring an extremely talented and charismatic actor. A true rising star in Asia, Vidyut Jamwal has been impressing audiences ever since his 2011 debut FORCE, which was quickly followed by an unforgettable presence in THUPPAKKI (2012). This time, however, he’s completely outdone himself! The brilliantly choreographed combat sequences are filled with breathtaking stunts that recall Jackie Chan’s prime. The abundance of one-liners and exaggerated nastiness of the villains remind us of several classics from the ’80s. Never taking itself too seriously, COMMANDO: A ONE MAN ARMY conclusively establishes Indian action cinema as a worthy rival to its Asian counterparts.

Fantasia has always been a turning point for emerging Asian actors. Over the past 17 years we have introduced you to countless action stars, such as Jet Li and Lee Byung-hun, long before they exploded onto American screens. This year is no exception. We confidently guarantee you that Vidyut Jamwal will soon earn his well-deserved spot among the great names of action cinema.

— Éric S. Boisvert