Volume 95, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 12, 2002
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Simply set, Macbeth's age-old story still stuns

Slackers are all about love, baby

Realistic action film hits home

Realistic action film hits home

Collateral Damage
Cliff Curtis, John Leguizarno, Francesca Neri, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Turturro
Directed By: Andrew Davis
Three 1/2 stars (out of five)

By Rana Issa
Gazette Writer

Originally scheduled for release late last year, Collateral Damage was postponed due to the eerie resemblance between the film and the events of Sept. 11.

This film will unavoidably be viewed in a completely different manner than any other terrorist film before it. Because of its strong parallel with actual events, this film will either act as an eye-opener to greater issues or it will work to conjure up a variety of emotions that may not have healed.

The film begins with the bombing of the Columbian Consulate in Los Angeles resulting in the untimely death of fireman Gordon Brewer's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wife and son.

The man responsible for the bombing is Claudio "The Wolf" Perrini (Cliff Curtis). "The Wolf" is the leader of a guerrilla army waging war in Columbia.

Brewer decides to take matters into his own hands and manages to get to Columbia and into the guerrillas lair to attempt to kill "The Wolf." Though he is unsuccessful, he follows "The Wolf" to Washington D.C., where he plans to strike again.

The Americans are not portrayed as innocent victims in this film, but rather, are shown to be as equally ruthless as the guerrillas.

Like most action films, Collateral Damage is full of unbelievable destruction and the characters, of course, emerge without a scratch. Luckily, this doesn't take anything away from the story and message.

Collateral Damage blurs the lines between good and evil, shedding light on what drives a person to commit acts of terrorism. The film acknowledges both Brewer's and "The Wolf's" motivations for their actions. Both lost a child unjustly and both are fighting for what they believe to be the correct and only course of action to achieve justice.

The performances are strong and believable and Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his roots as the action hero.

Cliff Curtis (Three Kings, The Insider) executes a believable and strong portrayal of the guerrilla terrorist. He comes off as a cold and terrifying figure that cannot be captured, seen or stopped.

The most mesmerizing performance is from newcomer Francesca Neri who plays "The Wolf's" wife. She does an excellent job in portraying a realistic character who is obedient to her husband and his madness.

Collateral Damage's director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, A Perfect Murder) uses fast-paced cuts and shots to create a non-stop action film that finds a nice balance between pure action and the deeper issues that reflect today's society.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002