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Collateral Damage /

Rated: R
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Francesca Neri, John Leguizamo, John Turturro, Elias Koteas
Directed by: Andrew Davis
Produced by: Steven Reuther, David Foster, Peter McGregor Scott
Written by: Peter Griffiths, David Griffiths, Ronald Roose, Nicholas Meyer

Distributor: Warner Brothers

 

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     This is probably the closest simulation to 9/11 that weíll get from the movie industry for a long time; seeing that an actual documentary isnít coming very soon. I donít have a problem with this; for I donít have any remarkable fondness for the war genre. All I have to say is that we must let the entertainment industry be the entertainment industry, without this kind of movie; there would be no entertainment. The sensitivity to this kind of material at this point in time contributed to its ďRĒ rating. Sure, there was some violence and mild language, but without the tragedies of the eleventh, I have reasonable doubt that this would be ďRĒ rated. This picture was set out to be entertaining and all in good fun, do people see this? Not exactly. I have sympathy for these people; but we must move on and continue to enjoy these movies to the fullest of our potential, as I did. Collateral Damage is intended to be as far from September 11th (I know it was filmed before that time) as Pee-wee Herman is from Pamela Anderson. The film-makers want you to sit back, relax and like what you see, this movie offers an enormously entertaining experience.

     Collateral Damage opens up to a woman waking to the sound of her alarm clock at 6:30 AM. She walks through the narrow hallway of her families New York apartment. In the living room she finds her husband and son playing with Legos. She briefly discusses the little boyís doctorsí appointment with her husband and announces that she can take him, but he will have to pick him up. Time comes and the mother and little boy are sitting at a picnic table eating hotdogs that they bought from a vendor in the central parkway. The father is late picking up. When he finally comes, he jumps out of his car and starts rushing toward the picnic table. Immediately and out of nowhere, a bomb explodes right in front of his eyes, killing his wife and child. He blames their deaths on himself, if he had been on time, they wouldíve been okay. Just ten minutes, just ten minutes! As a firefighter, he makes a pledge to himself that he will find the bomber that killed his family. Days later he discovers that third-world terrorists are responsible for their deaths. The only way to access them is to go into the Gorillas warfare zone himself. He must find an entrance card to gain access.

     After this movie I can officially claim that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a true action star. Over the years, Iíve had my doubts; Jingle All the Way was fun as a kid (I was very young when it came out, and probably watched the DVD at least ten times in multiple languages) but hurt olí Arnieís career. But one thing is for certain, he proved his worthiness here. His performance was fabulous, Collateral Damage is the first movie that he has been emotionally gripping in (Iíll have to watch Jingle All the Way again). Against all odds, nine-eleven improved this movies effectiveness, and Arnoldís acting for that matter, for the better. Because you can relate to what the father, played by Schwarzenegger, was going through left you more attached emotionally; who ever thought a dramatic war film could do that?

     The screenwriters were very clever in creating this story, seeing that they wrote it before the terrorist attack. Believe it or not, to make such a script as they did they had to think like a terrorist. They had to execute the plans perfectly to get away with them. Any flaws, any errors; throw the plan away; their creations, bombs, bullets, grenades, and escapes must be top of the line, infallible to all human knowledge. Though there is a way to crack the code, itís a chance they must take, and very unlikely that anyone will figure it out. These storywriters had to do exactly so. Think like. Walk like. Look like. Smell like. Feel like. Taste like. Breathe like. Every type of action, every movement must be mimicked to the hundredth degree.

     If you arenít bothered by the terrorist attacks to an extensive degree Collateral Damage will be an exciting, fun, and emotional adventure encasing one mans journey for justice. Along with the ride you receive excellent acting, a well thought out story, and at times; brilliant direction, lighting, cinematography, and background music. This is one of the summers most excellent Digital Video Discs!!!

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

 


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