Thirty years ago a landmark event in cinema took place when the movie Commando first hit the silver screen. It taught an entire generation to believe that a guy could have “Matrix” as a last name and that you should always kill the guys you like last…unless they get in your way.

The film also showcased the acting chops of several greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Dan Hedaya, and Rae Dawn Chong. But often overlooked is Australian actor Vernon Wells who played the role of Bennett, the Edmund to John Matrix’s Edgar.

One place Wells wasn’t overlooked was Japan, however. When the film made its way to the Land of the Rising Sun viewers responded especially well to Wells’ delicate handling of this complex character. It was so much so that the upcoming Blu-ray 30th Anniversary Director’s Cut of Commando will feature Bennett in equal measure to Schwarzenegger’s Matrix on the cover of this Japan-exclusive case.

And like the class-act he is. Wells filmed a message to the Commando fans in Japan offering his sincere thanks for supporting the movie. As he says in the video, he was offered $100,000 dollars to do it, but you know what? He said he’d do it for nothing.

It should be noted that a major reason for the movie’s success in Japan was the overdubbing during TV airings featuring some well-received voice acting delivering translations of the dialog that were a bit of a departure from the original script to appeal to Japanese audiences.

Some of that spirit was brought into this message as well. For example, as the video opens Wells says a cheery “Hello everyone in Japan. Konnichiwa.” whereas the subtitles say something along the lines of “Hey, fuckers of Japan. Konichiwa.” That f-bomb isn’t meant to be shocking but it’s the most appropriate translation of the Japanese word yaro in this situation.

Yaro is a loose slang word that could be used in an angry sense of “You fucker!” or in the casual sense of “Hey, look at all those fuckers over there.” So he’s not being straight out aggressive but using a less-than-respectful tone a merc like Bennett might.

Later on, when Wells shows off the Blu-ray case.

WELLS: “That’s me.”
SUBTITLE: “There I am!”

WELLS: “And that? Well…that’s Arnold.”
SUBTITLE: “This…This is…a dickhead.”

For the most part, Vernon Wells’ message of thanks was left intact. His occasional bits of Japanese were pretty well pronounced too. At the end, however, when saying Bukkoroshiteyaru (Roughly: “I’ll smash ya to death.”) it sounded like “Yaro (fucker) of crusher!” which makes about as much sense to Japanese people as to the rest of us.

In all fairness that was a hard one. Still, the enhanced translations and attempts at the language probably helped to enamor Japanese fans even more to the beloved movie villain judging by the comments.

“Hey…this isn’t Bennett. This is a really nice guy!”
“Bennett?! I thought you were dead?”
“It’s a trick!”
“He’s also the guy with the mohawk in Mad Max 2. Truly a great movie heel.”

Indeed the role of Bennett is hardly the only feather in Wells’ cap of great movie villains. He also played the creepy macho mohawk sporting Wez in Road Warrior. It was a character that set the benchmark for ’80s post-apocalyptic fashion.

Sure there were a few comments taking offense at being called yaro and other claims of “who is this guy and who cares?” However, true Commando fans in Japan know it’s all just about having fun and truly appreciate Vernon Wells’ message of thanks, recognizing him as the stand-up guy he is. People who want get offended or be jerks about it should all just let off some steam.

Source: YouTube – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment via My Game News Flash (Japanese)
Mad Max Video: YouTube – HellBent