Collateral Damage

Bomb Rating: 

You have to love Americans. Just a few short months after the World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorists, they're off to see an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about Colombian terrorists blowing stuff up. In the States, there is a disturbingly thin line between "Dear God, somebody help me!" and "Shit, that's cool."

As you may know, this film's release was postponed from September until now. I've never heard of eternal postponement, but "Collateral Damage" should have been a candidate. Frankly, Arnold doesn't seem "tough" so much as he seems "sad" and "pathetic." As he's running through Colombia avoiding gunfire, I'm thinking, "Arnold, don't run too hard or you'll blow an artery." For Arnie, kicking a guy's ass in this film is more a matter of dumb luck than anything else, and I was just glad he didn't collapse and die during the process.

A half hour into this film, the mongoloids who had taken over the front two rows of the theater started loudly predicting plot points, with amazing accuracy. Arnold plays a fireman, Gordy Brewer, whose wife and kid are killed by a terrorist known as "The Wolf" (Cliff Curtis). Gordy follows The Wolf down to Colombia and attempts to kill him, but ends up back in Washington D.C. at the end of the film to stop The Wolf from blowing up something else.

The state of Arnold Schwarzenegger films has gotten so pathetic that director Andrew Davis resorts to an awful-looking waterfall scene where Arnold jumps off a cliff. When he's splashing around in the water, it's so obviously a kiddie pool in front of a green screen, you want to cry. Arnold probably had to wear some of those inflatable duckies around his arms to keep him from sinking or something.

That Arnold makes it to Colombia without getting shot is nothing short of a miracle. Apparently not one of the thousands of Colombian guerrillas notices the six-foot tall Austrian guy walking around their country looking pissed off. The screenplay is a classic example of how not to write movies. In one great scene, The Wolf shoves a poisonous snake down a guy's throat. After this point, a fire ax seems to turn up in virtually every scene so that Gordy can grab it and whack a terrorist with it. Given that something of the sort actually happened on a United Airlines flight the week "Collateral Damage" was finally released suggests that the movie has been permanently tagged by the curse of inappropriate timing.

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