The trailer for AR-15 Comando Implacable (roughly translated as "AR-15 Relentless Commando" or "Ruthless Commando") describes the movie as being "dramatic", "ruthless", “savage", "horrifying" & "suspenseful". Normally such things said would be exaggerations to sell the movie off—only thing is though, there are no exaggerations here. AR-15 Comando Implacable is truly everything that was said in its trailer because this movie does not fuck around at all. This is Death Wish’s ruthless Mexican cousin. El mero mero of 80’s Mexican action-revenge movies.
Retired police agent turned coroner Roberto (Juan Garrido) is going to be marrying the woman of his dreams (Edna Bolkan) and he has just purchased a villa where he is to live there with his bride to be, his two younger siblings (Armando Araiza & Yirah Aparicio), and his aging parents as well. It all seems so promising up until a notorious crime group dubbed "La Banda Del Gato" (the panther gang) have come across Roberto’s villa and lust after his fiancée & sister. When Roberto is away, La Banda Del Gato break into the villa and proceed to rape Roberto’s fiancée & sister and also kill his parents & brother. Roberto walks in during the assaults and he is shot—the shot however doesn't kill him—the shot merely skims over his forehead which leaves him in a frozen state of shock. After the horrifying assaults & murders—Roberto recovers on his own & no longer feels the same. All he wants is revenge against La Banda Del Gato and pretty much anyone else committing crimes, thus he decides to join the special police squadron "Comando AR-15". As Roberto searches for those who killed his family, he also takes no mercy at other criminals around the city. This of course becomes a huge concern for his colleagues—with the exception of Falcon (Jorge Reynoso) because he knows how it feels to lose his entire family at the hands of criminals and longing for revenge.
Also, one detail I almost forgot to mention. Roberto hadn’t told a single soul that his entire family are dead. He has kept their rotting corpses at home as if they were still alive. One big fucking happy family.
Michael Winner’s Death Wish was the precursor for many action-revenge movies around the world and Mexican filmmakers took notice of how big Death Wish & its sequels were, thus they made their own movies like it. One perfect example of a Mexican Death Wish copycat would be Cazador De Asesinos. Cazador was the first of many Mexican action-revenge titles inspired by Death Wish. Through out the entire duration of the 1980’s, many Mexican action movies were trying to be in the same vein of Death Wish. It was literally all just cops, rapists, & vigilantes in an urban setting. All of these Death Wish copycats were quite profitable & favored by the audiences who came to see them.
In 1988, Actor-producers Oscar Fentanes & Juan Garrido under their production company "Zyanya" just had to cash-in on the Death Wish trend and with the help of director Alejandro Todd (who was barely starting out then) & screenwriter Carlos Valdemar (who I’ve dubbed “El Señor De Los Guiones” since he’s written almost everything during this era & so forth), made AR-15 Comando Implacable. AR-15 follows the same Death Wish formula of an innocent man turned vigilante, but it much differs in attitude & style. AR-15’s vigilante Roberto has not only gotten hellbent on wanting revenge—he's also very in denial that his entire family is gone and this is very much proven with Roberto keeping their dead bodies around with him at home. There is a scene where Roberto realizes that his family is indeed dead & gone (set during a Christmas dinner!), but he then goes from being sad to angry and he takes that anger out on criminals he’s supposed to be arresting or letting free. Roberto however just doesn’t give a fuck. He wants bad people like this gone and he feels he’s supposed to make things right by ridding of them all. Juan Garrido stars as Roberto and he plays this role wonderfully. Garrido gave it his 100%. His anger, pain & psychosis are all too damn believable. This is his best & most memorable movie role for sure.
Roberto’s fellow cop friends "Macedo" (Sergio Goyri) & Falcon are the (sort of) shoulder Angel & shoulder Devil of Roberto because they are on differing sides on these vigilante activities. Macedo wants things done by the book & is full of morality—thus why he is against all of this. Falcon sees this as justice being served properly because he knows where this all stemming from. There’s a scene with Falcon describing how he lost his family to cold-blooded criminals and his longing for revenge. We aren’t given a flashback scene of said crime committed, but we do feel & see Falcon’s story by just listening to him telling it. Jorge Reynoso does an amazing job in this scene. It’s all too damn believable & very badass. Lina Santos plays "Lili"—another fellow cop friend of Roberto's and it appears that she was a former girlfriend of his or simply just someone he flirts with at work. Lili too defends Roberto's actions due to her having feelings for him, but she also sees the danger in all of this. Lina Santos' character is fairly minor, but seeing Lina anytime in a movie is a rather nice treat for the eyes.
The antagonists of AR-15 are La Banda Del Gato and they are a notorious criminal group consisting of some very sick & vile individuals. Hugo Stiglitz plays the leader of the gang nicknamed "Gato" and he's the grimiest of them all considering that he's also the biggest deviant and also shows zero remorse for his actions. The first 10 minutes into AR-15—an armored car robbery has gone bad and to rid of a police helicopter shooting at them—Gato pulls out a rocket launcher and shoots away. No mercy given here. Just a successful cheer and a big fuck you to the police. Then when Gato and the rest of the gang come across Roberto & his family at their villa—he immediately lusts after Roberto’s wife and the whole point of going back to the villa later on was just so he can rape her. And again, no mercy given at all. No one is left alive either since it is Gato who says to kill everyone inside. Hugo Stiglitz here plays a sick & twisted criminal like no other. At least none that I can think of at the moment.
As the trailer said—AR-15 Comando Implacable is indeed "dramatic", "ruthless", "savage", "horrifying" & "suspenseful". AR-15 delivers all you can expect from a Death Wish copycat and then some. This movie has all the action & all the madness. AR-15 is favored by many of those who have seen it, and if you’re one of the people who have not seen it—then you’re in for quite the treat when you get the opportunity to because AR-15 is entertaining all the way through and it’ll leave you wanting to see it again & again.
AR-15 Comando Implacable is one of my favorites and it is a must see. When I said AR-15 is El mero mero of 80’s Mexican action-revenge movies—I truly meant that.