In one fleeting moment, L.A. firefighter Gordy Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) loses everything that he had ever cared about.

Running late to meet his wife (Lindsay Frost) and young son (Ethan Dampf) at a downtown high-rise, he witnesses a catastrophic bomb blast kill his family before his eyes. The explosion is credited to 'The Wolf'(Cliff Curtis), an infamous rebel leader in Colombia's decades-long civil war. The intended targets were members of the Colombian consulate and American intelligence agents. Gordy's wife and child are considered 'collateral damage,' innocent people who lost their lives for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gordy's only consolation is the hope that justice will prevail for the loss of his family. 

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Gordy Brewer, a Los Angeles fireman, is devastated when his wife and small son are killed in an explosion outside the Colombian Consulate – they weren't the intended targets, they were collateral damage. Dissatisfied that the authorities aren't taking steps to eliminate the terrorist responsible for the outrage, a man known as The Wolf, Cliff Curtis, Gordy travels to Colombia to sort things out for himself. It's personal, you see. In no time at all he's found The Wolf's lair, and befriended the Wolf's woman, Francesca Neri.

Collateral Damage
was a casualty of September 11. It was about to be released in North America when the world trade centre was attacked, and, as a result, it was quickly pulled from release. It's certainly not one of Big Arnie's better efforts – the plot is more than usually ridiculous – the ease with which Gordy tracks down the Wolf is just absurd. The Wolf is obviously the Osama Bin Laden of South American terrorists, and he likes to plant the bombs on American soil himself, personally.

The climax of the film would have been more suspenseful and more exciting had it not be so obviously ridiculous, and overall the film exhibits a naivete, and an ignorance about the complexities of freedom movements in Third World countries, which is truly scary.