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Summer of Schwarzenegger - "Collateral Damage" (2002)


Do I... Do I have to?

Ugh. Okay. Let's do this.


Look, it's not that Collateral Damage is a bad movie or anything. It's actually serviceable at what it's trying to do. But the thing is, what it's trying to do was so done to death in the early 2000's that it's not impressive in the slightest.

See, this is one of those "gruff male action star finds himself embroiled in political tensions and stuff blows up" kind of movies that were starting to lose popularity in the early 2000's. You know, like Air Force One, The Peacemaker, Murder at 1600, Arnold's own Eraser, and pretty much every movie with Steven Seagal in it ever. At this point, they were becoming old hat. Sure, people still made them, but to diminishing box office returns and garbage reviews. I mean, hell, Seagal's stuff had already started going straight to video, where most of it fucking belonged in the first place.

So, yes, this is another one of those movies, and quite frankly, that's always been a trend I never liked when it was around, and it's one I still don't like. It's just boring. Like, if I want something blowing up, why do I need to sit around forever, listening to "so-and-so country wants to do so-and-so and somehow this blah blah blah" bullshit? Can't we just get to the action? Apparently not. Apparently Hollywood fucking hated me in the 90's.

Ugh. Anyway. This is one of those movies, and Arnold's the star. It's about terrorists or something, which led to it getting delayed past its 2001 release date what with 9/11 and all. That's a more interesting tidbit of information than the plot of Collateral Damage, actually, because the plot itself is just rote and stupid. Arnold's a firefighter named Gordy, terrorists blow up a building, the explosion kills his wife and kid, then he gets all pissed and says, "you know, fuck it, let's go to Columbia, I'm suddenly a trained killer!"

Of course, there's political shit going on, and god, is it ever boring. I kind of zoned out during these parts, the parts where they were giving exposition and all, but from what I can remember, a militant terrorist group is mad at the US for their oppression, and they're led by a guy who calls himself... ugh... The Wolf. Yep, this is a movie about a firefighter going to Colombia to get in the middle of an international political conflict to kill a guy who calls himself The Wolf. Does this sound like a good movie to you? Does this sound like an enriching way to spend 108 minutes of your life? I don't think so.

I know I'm making Collateral Damage sound like the worst movie in the world, but it's not, I guess. It's just boring and predictable and unimaginative and bland and unnecessary and generic. But egregiously awful? Nah. It's definitely not worth watching, though. Like, it's one of those movies that's not worth seeking out, but if it's on at three o'clock in the morning on cable, I mean, it's an okay way to absentmindedly pass the time. But that's all it is.

I don't have anything else to really say here. Collateral Damage is Arnold's last non-franchise movie before his big hiatus, and it's so unremarkable that I'm sort of happy he got into politics. I don't know if I'd like him as much if he kept cranking out shit like this for a decade.

Next Time: It's Arnold's last film before becoming The Governator, and one of the most reviled films in a franchise! It's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines!

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