Collateral Damage

I can't fathom why the release of Collateral Damage was delayed in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. In its own simplistic way (considering that it is very standard Scharwzenegger fare), it demonstrates the complexities of any given war on terrorism.

Once again, Schwarzenegger dons on the role of an everyday man waging a just war. This time he's Gordon Brewer, a Los Angeles fireman out to get revenge for the killing of his wife and daughter by a terrorist with the moniker "The Wolf" (Cliff Curtis). The Wolf's real targets are Americans and Colombians in cahoots with each other, but Gordon's wife and child end up as "collateral damage". Needless to say, the movie features Gordon performing death-defying feats in the jungles of Colombia, using his fire-fighter training to explosive effect, to bring the Wolf to justice.

The movie illustrates that there are really no good guys, except maybe our protagonist, and he too is portrayed ambiguously at times. Governments (both American and Colombian) have their own motivations, and the terrorists have theirs. The movie also illustrates the problem of shifting ties which occurs when dealing with other humans, particularly those involved in violent conflict. It seems everyone could learn from The X Files adage, "trust no one."

I suppose if you thought hard about it, the movie could be made to make sense, but it doesn't have to. Collateral Damage is a lot of fun, and I highly recommend checking it out on the big screen if you get a chance.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||