Remember this one? Not many do, sadly. Collateral Damage arrived as Arnie’s career was firmly heading to the doldrums, pre its Terminator 3 and Governator injection of life. Most notorious for being delayed for a long period in the wake of the September 11th attacks, Collateral Damage casts Schwarzenegger as a fireman, and gets off to an explosive start. But it soon starts to struggle
As a film, Collateral Damage has several flaws. Firstly, it actually requires Arnie to act, and as his directors of his finest films well know, that’s something best kept to an absolute minimum. Secondly, it feels toned down. Retrospect is a fine thing, but there was surely a harder action movie in the midst of all of this, yet it’s not the cut that made it to the screen, not to disc.
It kicks off as Arnie watches his wife and son being caught and killed by a terrorist blast in the middle of Los Angeles. Torn by rage and frustrated with the efforts of the authorities, Arnie decides to take the law into his own hands. Those behind the bombing turn out to be Columbian terrorists, and thus it’s off to the jungles of South America to take them down.
With supporting turns from John Leguizamo and John Turturro, Collateral Damage soon starts ticking the requisite boxes, as Arnie goes through the motions, albeit looking a shadow of the action star that tore through the 1980s. It doesn’t help that director Andrew Davis, who once upon a time gave the world The Fugitive, struggles to conceive too many interesting action sequences, but as Arnie’s chase takes him across continents, the momentum and energy is lacking too.
As braindead, implausible fodder, Collateral Damage does have a place on the shelves. And at a base level, it’s not bereft of entertainment. But it’s a cookie cutter action flick from a star who used to be absolutely at the head of his game. By the time he got here, he simply wasn’t any more, and it’s little surprise that he opted to head back to the relative safety of the Terminator franchise when Collateral Damage flopped.
The Blu-ray though is really quite smart. The picture quality is strong, although showing some evidence of a little wear, but it’s a good upgrade from the DVD. The active soundstage too is a welcome benefit, and given the amount of work that the surround track is given to do, it’s a good workout for a half decent audio setup.
The extras are quite conventional, and there’s nothing new for the Blu-ray. So you get a quite good director’s commentary track, as well as some run of the mill featurettes. The best is a short piece that looks into why the film was delayed, and it’s the only material that really strays out of the boundaries of press materials. You get some deleted scenes, too.
In this case, despite some work done on the picture and sound, it’s the film itself that damages the case for forking out for a high-def upgrade. Given the raft of Arnie films we’d like to see on Blu-ray, Collateral Damage isn’t entirely unwelcome, but it’s not vital by any real measure.
The Film:The Disc:
Collateral Damage is available on Blu-ray now.