Studio: Warner Brothers
Film Length: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
What Would You Do If You Lost Everything?
It seems that the release of Collateral Damage
had everything going against it. Originally set for
release late last year, the film was held up after
the 9/11 catastrophe. When it finally opened earlier
this year, the film was bombarded by lackluster
reviews by critics everywhere.
Gordon Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a fireman
(and ex bomb and arson expert) who in the opening
moments of the film tragically loses his wife and
son in a terrorist attack triggered by The Wolf
(Cliff Curtis). Quickly realizing that the inept
at the CIA, FBI and State Department aren't going
to get the bomber, Arnie engineers his own one-man
mission to Central America to smoke the guy out and
So, is Collateral Damage as bad as the
critics make it out to be? The answer is not
really clear. Though this is certainly a ludicrous
revenge thriller, the movie does manage to keep
its head above water thanks to Arnie, who is back
on a one-man gung-ho mission giving us his best
mean looks in scene after scene as he romps around
the Colombian jungles.
The overall problem with this film is the pacing.
Typically, compared to other Arnie action flicks,
this one is a yawner. After all popcorn fare has
always been Arnie's bag, and this movie leaves the
viewer feeling less than satisfied.
How is the transfer?
Warner Brothers rarely disappoints with any of
their new release transfers. Collateral Damage
is no exception to the rule, offering a pristine
transfer that is virtually flawless. Picture
remains consistently clear. Most of the film takes
place in the thick, lush jungles of Colombia and
these images retain a very natural look to them
with very deep greens everywhere. Even the flesh
tones remain natural throughout. Though not meant
to be a colorful film, when color is used such in
scenes of a Columbian carnival, those colors
compliment the overall transfer without ever looking
oversaturated. What this all boils down to is a
transfer that ranks high with most of the new
Warner releases you have been seeing.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital transfer is very aggressive.
Dialogue remains dead center, with very pronounced
stereo separation across the two front channels.
It is the rears that do most of the workout, supplying
a never-ending amount of effects support from flames
that surround a collapsed building rescue, to gunfire
in the Colombian jungle. When the film isn't in
action mode, you can hear the subtle backdrop sounds
of the city or the back office typewriters of the
FBI building. As Arnie crosses into Colombia, you
can hear the sounds of the jungle surrounding the
The LFE channel is also very strong. This film
is filled with explosion after explosion, and my
subwoofer shook the floor during many of them.
The roaring rapids provided some thunderous rumbles
as did the underlying beat of the film's score.
There is a nominal amount of added material on
this DVD, none of which really is memorable.
First is a feature-length commentary by
Director Andrew Davis.
Another one of those slickly produced Behind
The Scenes promotional pieces does everything
it can to promote this film as "a side of Arnold
you have never seen before". It's the perfect
example of how a mediocre to bad film can be promoted
as something brilliant, using quickly edited
action clips. The Making of Collateral Damage
begins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Director Andrew
Davis (The Fugitive) giving a summary of the film
against the many clips that are shown. One of the
more interesting things to watch is Arnold being
geared and trained in fire fighting skills. This
segment, while brief, cannot help but make you
think of what firemen go through every day. Next,
we learn a little about Veracruz, the state where
this movie was filmed. Most of the architecture,
water and vegetation was similar to Columbia. It
is at this point that we see some of the behind-
the-camera on-location shots of the cast in the
(length: approx. 15 minutes)
The events of 9/11 have prompted the inclusion
of The Hero In A New Era, which has Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Andrew Davis justifying their
reasons for releasing the film at the time they did.
We finally hear the in-depth reasons why the film
was yanked, and the reactions of a screening audience
that saw the film two months after the 9/11 attack.
Davis talks about why he was attracted to the
main character of this film, and why he felt that
Arnold was perfect for the role. We also watch
each of these men talk about the many heroes in
(length: approx. 8 minutes)
There are about eight minutes of deleted scenes
that really add nothing to the story and surely
would have slowed the pacing. They include:
* Station Chief Brandt (Elias Koteas) outlines
his agenda, stating that he is going to put his
men out in the field, "no-holds-barred".
* In an alternate introduction to Selena (Francesca
Neri) and Mauro, we see a relationship solidified
as Brewer plays a carnival game with the young boy
before eventually being captured.
* Planned as a possible replacement for the snake
scene, Mauro mercifully lets the soldier go without
* On the night before the attack, we watch the
American helicopter team prep for an attack on
the guerilla camp during a rain storm.
* A walk-through of the death and carnage following
the American raid on the guerilla camp.
* Brewer's flight back to Washington as the next
game plan is discussed.
All these scenes are presented in finished form,
meaning that the quality is exceptional, and it
is presented in proper film ratio.
A very limited Cast and Crew filmography
is included for everyone involved. Take a look
at Schwarzenegger's bio, and you see most all
his past films listed are Warner titles.
The film's original Theatrical Trailer
I remember a time when a Schwarzenegger film
was a big deal -- a guaranteed box-office smash.
Films like Collateral Damage make one feel
that Arnie is nearing the end of his film career
and that perhaps the only film that could revitalize
his career is Terminator 3.
I can't recommend this DVD for purchase, that is,
unless you want it to complete your Schwarzenegger
collection. This is probably more apt for rental,
as you'll never watch this film more than once.
Release Date: July 30, 2002