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Collateral Damage

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

*Also starring: Francesca Neri, Elias Koteas, John Turturro, Cliff Curtis, Lindsay Frost

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review ---
4.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

In one horrifying moment, Gordy Brewer, a Los Angeles firefighter, loses both his wife and son in a terrorist attack by El Lobo (The Wolf) a notorious rebel in Colombia's on-going civil war. El Lobo's targets were members of the Colombian consulate and CIA; the civilians were "collateral damage," people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not only is Gordy devastated but when it becomes obvious that the US government is not going to pursue El Lobo - for political reasons - he sets out for vengeance, relentlessly tracking the killer through the jungle to his camp. As Gordy confronts the complex philosophical realities of Colombian guerrilla warfare, those who are squeamish should be warned of one grossly repugnant torture scene in which a man has a poisonous snake shoved down his throat. Along the way, of course, Gordy puts his knowledge of combustibles to work, igniting explosions, and meeting up with El Lobo's enigmatic wife (Francesca Neri) and adopted son. Written by David Griffiths & Peter Griffiths from an idea by Ronald Roose and directed by Andrew Davis, this saga seems somehow dated, although Arnold Schwarzenegger shows far more sensitivity, maturity and depth than in previous films - with Elias Koteas, John Leguizamo, John Turturro and Cliff Curtis lending strong support. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Collateral Damage" is an action-packed 6. Gordy is supposed to be an Everyman so I kept thinking: what if a band of the frustrated survivors of those killed on Sept. 11th made their way to the Middle East to exact the same kind of revenge? Would some CIA zealot support their vigilante efforts? But this kind of movie is supposed to be mindless escapist entertainment, not a rumination on real life, right? Sadly, for me, it hit too close to home.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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