Main cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Gordon Brewer), Elias Koteas (CIA Agent Peter Brandt), Francesca Neri (Selena Perrini), Cliff Curtis (Claudio ‘The Wolf’ Perrini), John Leguizamo (Felix Ramirez), and John Turturro (Sean Armstrong)
Director: Andrew Davis
Some actors should be banned from uttering any line in a movie, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is right in front of that list. Collateral Damage requires some minor, superficial emoting from our eloquent one, and he still does it with all the range of a dyspeptic pit bull terrier. This is one piece of garbage made important only by its premise that reopens wounds inflicted by the September 11 2001 tragedy.
Mr Schwarzenegger plays Gordon Brewer, a devoted father who, like a robotic version of Family Man Version 2.0, is waving inanely at his wife and kid instead of walking to them, when the trendy cafe where wife and kid are waving stupidly at explodes. Too bad Gordon doesn’t just go to them like any normal person would, or he would be in a body bag too and I can leave the theater early and get some sleep.
Why must we have that stupid waving-thing-as-he-sees-the-building-explode-slow-mo thing anyway?
What next? Gordon gets mad. The government refuses to sic it to the bad guy Claudio “The Wolf” Perrini, and Gordon goes on a one-man rampage. Yeah, a large 50-something brute speaking like a robot with a voice box made out of rusty iron single-handedly destroying South American Evil Terrorists. What next, what next? There’s the usual dumb South Americans unable to kill our hero, who rampages through the hovels of Colombia like an American Jesus Christ out to deliver the wretched oppressed women and children from evil.
Lots of explosives, which would make a decent formulaic piece of Hollywood excreta, if only Mr Schwarzenegger doesn’t try to speak so much. Watching him emote is excruciating, it’s like watching someone struck by horrible constipation sitting on a toilet bowl.
My sympathies to John Leguizamo. He’s a talented guy. How did he end up in a collateral asswipe of a movie like this one?