Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good action, relevant plot and surprising ending, 16 Mar 2003
This review is from: Collateral Damage [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I have mostly enjoyed Arnold's movies, with some exceptions (such as Commando, Twins and the most terrible one where he - oh horror! - gives birth to a child).
To me at least it seems that Collateral Damage is both related with and an opposite of Commando; related because both movies have a revenge plot. Opposite because whilst the latter was characterised by amazingly bad acting and a predictable ending, the former both displays a convincing performance by Arnold and delivers a most surprising - if not shocking - finish.
The plot: I will not reveal too much here in case the reader is yet to watch this move, but the story begins with Arnold losing his family in a bomb blast set off by a terrorist. We witness Arnold's agony, the search for revenge, the captivity in a South American jungle, the friendship with the terrorist's family - and - the incredibly shocking ending.
I know that another review here says that the terrorist is portrayed in a way too sympathetic light, which makes it impossible to despise him as much as we despised the bad guy in Commando. I disagree. And very much so: One quality of Collateral Damage is that we get the impression that there is a human side to the terrorist; we start to understand/think that even his family opposes his evil plans and what he has become; we start assuming that a relationship is developing between Arnold and the terrorist's wife.
In other words, one gets an impression that the plot is taking a particular direction and that the ending will become logical and predictable. But not so! The movie takes us to the conclusion that you can trust no-one, and that nothing should be taken for what it is. And indeed, that fanaticism can override even natural human relations. In my opinion, that is no bad plot at all.
Let me put it like this: If you are looking for something with lots of killing and a banale plot (such as Commando) or explosive sci-fi (such as Total Recall and Terminator II), then Collateral Damage may be an unsuitable choice. But if you want to watch a solid performance by Arnold, an unusual plot and at the same time great action, then Collateral Damage may be what you are looking for.
I may be accused by some of entering deep waters now, but to some extent I would compare parts of the plot in Collateral Damage with the one present in the fantastic Arlington Road. Watch Collateral Damage and you will understand why.
Best regards
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jun 2011 18:49:52 BDT
D. Lloyd says:
Commando is a masterpiece of action cinema. It can only be judged by criteria particular to that genre, so while I agree with you that this movie is an underrated movie that attempts something a little different in regards to the development of the villains, I cannot agree , or condone the string of pot-shots you take at an established fan favourite in the process. They are both awesome movies, but Commando has the better one-liners and the more outrageous action. A lot of people who love Arnie require these elements for a successful 'Arnie' movie, and will find CD lacking in fun, and tongue in cheek humour.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2012 17:10:26 BDT
Reviewing an Arnie film from a stance of hating Commando is certainly a unique approach! I thought this film was a bit of a shocker really, easily one of his weakest, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion - for a solid (in fact, quite good) performance from Arnie, I look to End of Days. And it has Gabriel Byrne, bonus!
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