Collateral Damage (2002)

collateral_damageArnold Schwarzenegger plays firefighter Gordon Brewer, a family man who witnesses his wife and son get murdered in a terrorist bombing. When he sees a Colombian ambassador refer to their deaths as “Collateral Damage”, a term meaning that their death is all part of war, he get angered and vows revenge on the mercenary who committed the crime. With the help of his wits alone, he travels to Colombia to track down and kill the terrorist crime lord known as “El Lobo”. Arnold Schwarzenegger does his best with what he’s given with in this movie and doesn’t overact his part like in his frequent movies. He’s a likeable character in this movie, and for once is a relatable character.

We feel for him because: A. his family was killed, B. They were killed by terrorists, C. he wants revenge. I was rather surprised at how I rooted him on in this movie. Schwarzenegger doesn’t pretend his character is a superhero all of a sudden; his character is slow, sloppy, and constantly gets himself in a pickle with these skilled terrorists. If you take a good look at this movie, you’ll notice Arnold’s character never once picks up a gun. Interesting, ain’t it folks? I was also very impressed at how, for once, his character has a brain. Gordon Brewer is an experienced arson investigator, so rather than breaking necks and shooting guns, he uses his head. He goes undercover without flaw and uses his skills to make bombs rigging the bad guys’ home bases blowing them to smithereens, and at one point makes traps the bad guys with fire.

I find the notion of a civilian actually being able to get into the Colombian rainforest far-fetched beyond recognition. I was so angry at the fact that trained skilled Colombian Guerillas had so much trouble catching a slow, white, bulk of a man who couldn’t even run without panting aloud and tripping. At times, every character is so dumb all except Schwarzenegger’s character who is always one step ahead of everyone; including the U.S. government who couldn’t catch “El Lobo” but half way into the film, Gordon comes face to face with him. The government never figured out a pattern with “El Lobo” yet Gordon did. It was not only aggravating in nature, but ridiculous. The character’s in this movie are Xerox copies of past action movie where Schwarzenegger’s appeared in featuring the questionable high government official and the love interest.

The villain looks like every villain in Schwarzenegger’s movies and outshines his character in every way making himself seem intimidating and scary throughout the entire film. We also get small insignificant roles from supporting actors like John Turturro and John Leguizamo who appear and quickly disappear without any reason. They could have easily been played by more low-key actors, other than that it seems like a waste. The movie is decent; though it isn’t an action masterpiece, it’s fun to watch with a lot of good plot twists and turns that will throw you for a loop. We get a good cameo performance by Hispanic actor John Leguizamo who plays a sleazy drug cartel in tabs with “El Lobo”. I was thrown for a loop at how good this movie was and guys will love it.