El Lobo: The fireman, huh?
Gordon Brewer: The coward who kills women and children.
El Lobo: You Americans are so naive. You see a peasant with a gun on the news, you change channels. But you never ask, "Why does a peasant need a gun?" Why? You think you're the only ones who can fight for independence?
Gordon Brewer: Independence to do what? Kill my wife and son?!Collateral Damage is an action thriller from 2002, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.After his family is killed in an explosion caused by Colombian terrorist El Lobo, Los Angeles fireman Gordon Brewer sets out to get him.Originally set to be released in the October of 2001, the film had to pushed to early 2002 due to the 9/11 attacks.
This film has the examples of:
- An Axe to Grind: El Lobo is finished off with an axe, which Gordon throws on his chest.
- Batter Up: Gordon, in his anguish, thrashes the Colombian embassy office with a baseball bat when he hears his family referred to as "collateral damage".
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The final showdown.
- Big Bad: Claudio Perrini, a.k.a. El Lobo (The Wolf).
- Big "NO!": Gordon lets one out when he sees his family getting killed by the terrorist bomb at the beginning.
- California Doubling: Set in Colombia, filmed in Mexico.
- The Cameo: Arnold's buddy Sven-Ole Thorsen appears briefly as a man smoking a cigarette right before the fateful explosion happens.
- Chekhov's Gun: The video claiming the authority of the bombing.
- Chekhov's Skill: Gordon is a fireman. This comes in handily when he wants to get access to a bombing place (he can help), escaping a building on fire (he remains calm and knows how to avoid the flames), vividly describing Armstrong what the effects of being burned alive are in order to frighten him, and using a fireman's ax as a weapon in the movie's climax.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Averted. The CIA are depicted as protagonists, particularly Brandt, although a bit shady.
- Darker and Edgier: Along with End of Days, when compared to other Arnold films.
- The Dragon: Selena.
- Evil Versus Evil: How the Colombian Conflict is portrayed.
- Gender Is No Object: For the FARC.
- Latino Is Brown: Chocó, Colombia, where Gordon travels to is in real life almost completely inhabited by black people. However, not a single black person appears in the film.
- Man Bites Man: Gordon bites one of the terrorist during an escape attempt, tearing off his ear.
- Mangst: The first ten minutes or so are Gordon wallowing in angst (while occasionally beating things up); the rest of the movie is him beating things up (while occasionally wallowing in angst).
- Mêlée à Trois: Once Gordon arrives in Colombia, it's between him versus the guerrilla versus the paramilitaries.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Claudio delivers a brief but brutal one to Gordon after Gordon kills Selena in the climax.
- Not So Different: The Colombian spokesman points that the Los Angeles bombing is par of the course in Colombia, both by the FARC and anti-FARC factions supported by the United States.
- Occupiers out of Our Country: The Americans, of course. Pretty much the reason why they launched the attack that killed Gordon's family.El Lobo!Selena: We'll continue to strike until the American public finally realizes this war's price is one they cannot afford. Get out of Colombia, now.
- Outrun the Fireball: In the climax, Gordon runs away from a massive explosion as the Big Bad and The Dragon take aim at him while chasing him on a motorcycle.
- A Million Is a Statistic: The Title Drop dismissal of the casualties of the bomb (including Gordon's family) as "collateral damage", less important overall next to the FARC's political statement.
- Papa Wolf: Gordon. With his own son, he is out to kill the guy who killed him (with a side of Crusading Widower, as well). With Selena's kid, he is willing to risk himself so the kid will not become collateral damage to his own Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: This movie was actually affected by the 9/11 attacks.
- The Reveal: Selena is the FARC spokesman.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Gordon is just a fireman. He decides to take on a Colombian cartel/terrorist organization in revenge for his dead family.
- Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness: Again, very serious when compared to other Arnold films.
- Small Reference Pools: Averted to some degree. While obviously a Hollywood action flick, the movie cares to differentiate between the Colombian government, the Guerrillas (FARC), the paramilitaries and the US government/CIA/DEA.
- Technical Pacifist: Unlike other action movies dealing with terrorists, Gordon never uses a firearm at all to kill anyone. Even in the scene when escaping from a police roadblock in Colombia and disarming an officer's AR-15, he just throws it away the instant he gets shot at.
- Title Drop: A man from the Colombian embassy that is interviewed dismisses the deaths of Gordon's wife and son (and the other people who died on the bombing) as "collateral damage" to El Lobo's political statement. This makes Gordon snap and wrecks the man's offices with a baseball bat while yelling "Here's your damn collateral damage!!".
- Too Much Information: Gordon tells Armstrong in vivid detail what will happen to him if he burns alive, while being caged in a burning jail, in order to convince him to give his safe-conduct.
- The War on Terror: Code Red.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: What the Colombian diaspora in Los Angeles thinks of the FARC. The CIA is willing to do (covert) total war on the FARC as well, risking hurting innocents with carpet bombing, because they think going "Kill 'em All" on a bunch of determined terrorists is better than the alternative.
- Western Terrorists: The FARC. Based out of Colombia, get funding from drugs, destroy American lives.
- Working-Class Hero: Gordon. He is not the typical One-Man Army Arnold plays, he is "just" a fireman.