Arnold Doesn't Disappoint in Collateral Damage
- Saturday, February 09, 2002
Collateral Damage - R
Best for: Mature audiences who enjoy war movies.
What it's about: Gordy Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a Los Angles firefighter who loses his wife and son to a terrorist bombing. Even though federal agents are working on the case, Gordy goes to Columbia and seeks revenge in his own way against "The Wolf" (Cliff Curtis), the lead terrorist responsible for the bombing. He gets help from a mechanic (John Turturro), a cocaine farmer (John Leguizamo) and a woman who turns out to be the Wolf's wife (Francesca Neri). But time is running out for Gordy, as "The Wolf" plans another deadly act.
The good: I happen to be a fan of action movies, especially when Arnold is the star. There's no mystery as to what you're going to get with his movies - lots of exciting adventure, big explosions, thrilling stunts, a high body count, evil bad guys and of course, Arnold being Arnold.
This time around the terrorist plot hits closer to home, with Arnold playing a fireman who uses his training and skills to get out of trouble and kill the terrorists. His character is believable; his grief over losing his wife makes him more human, and everything works together to make the revenge and payback seem more plausible.
The controversy surrounding the release of this movie has been widely publicized because of the concern over the public's reaction to the terrorist scenario. But I tend to think Arnold fans won't care about those similarities. In fact, Arnold's super-hero style of revenge may even end up being cathartic, since it would never happen that way in real life. And isn't that the point of movie entertainment? To provide an escape from reality? Arnold doesn't disappoint his fans this time around.
The not-so-good: Going into an Arnold action movie dealing with terrorism, you have to expect an abundance of violence in almost every scene. The violence is extreme due to the excessive number of people killed or wounded, including a mother and child. Because of that abundance of violence, this movie is not appropriate for fans of Arnold under 17.
Offensive language and behavior: There are four uses of the "F"-word along with about a dozen mild profanities and profane and/or obscene utterances. Numerous religious profanities as well as exclamations of "Oh my God" or "Swear to God" are used. Various characters drink, smoke and one man is high on cocaine at a cocaine farm.
Sexual situations: Crass referrals to a sexual act, but no sex is shown.
Violence: There is too much violence to list each and every scene, but numerous people are killed or wounded by gun fire, bombs, grenades, rockets, a knife and even a coral snake. Others are injured in fights. Gordy bites a man's ear off then spits it out (a la Mike Tyson.)
Parental advisory: This is an adult action movie with mature and dangerous situations revolving around firefighting, terrorist acts and hunting a killer. The themes are too intense or graphic for children or young teens.
Bottom Line: If you're a fan of Arnold's movies then you will probably enjoy this movie. I liked the movie because it deals with a realistic issue, but the violence keeps it from being a movie I can recommend for everyone.
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