Collateral Damage

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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elias Koteas, Francesca Neri, Cliff Curtis
Director: Andrew Davis

Who would have thought it? People debating an Arnie Schwarzenegger movie!

That was the sight that greeted me after the screening I attended for this movie. The two people who were discussing this were referring to the terrible events that held up the release date of the film and understandably so.

Although you expect a ‘shoot ’em up’ in any Arnie movie, this one, because of the terrible events of September 11th, really does have a sting in its tale. I overheard these two people saying “who would have thought that we’d ever be this enlightened by an Arnie movie. A year ago we would have said it was rubbish, but after several scenes, you have to think twice”. Was she right?

Well, in a way, yes.

This Arnie movie does have a conscience. It also strangely points out that America does have a lot of enemies in the world and these factions are volatile to say the least. Their reaction to the movie was obviously based on 9/11,and with just cause (isn’t it weird that the date is also the emergency number in the US – 911).

The story is very similar to Sylvester Stallone’s latest film D-TOX (Arnie’s one time adversary), where in one moment Arnie’s character, Gordy Brewer, loses everything he cares about to a moment of needless violence and is eaten up with revenge. COLLATERAL DAMAGE is more involved with international terrorism than Sly’s serial killers and takes Arnie to Colombia were he tries to track down the killer of his wife and child, known as El Lobo (The Wolf).

What follows is typical Arnie fair, the strange thing is, on reading the production notes, the parts I thought were a bit over the top are actually based on true events. So really this movie is an eye opener, even though it is put across in the simplest and most explosive terms.

As in the case of SWORDFISH the film does touch on a nerve. It makes one uncomfortable to know that the villains we used to see in Arnie movies were pure fiction, similar to Bond villains, but now we know that people like this do exist.

In a similar way to Reagan’s famous “Send in Rambo” speech in the Eighties, Arnie is the man that makes it safe for everyone to sleep at night. He is the ultimate superman in the old style Hollywood sense of the word.

If only life were that simple.

4 out of 6 stars