David Griffiths

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Collateral Damage Review


Bad
I'm not one for Septemeber 11 censorship. You know what I mean, where the big, loving movie studios protect us from facing the grief and loss of that stupendous tragedy by erasing every trace of its existence from movies, television, and print. Collateral Damage, Schwarzenegger's latest, was one of the biggest victims of this recently popular sentiment. The release date was pushed back months amid rumors of revisionist editing to make the film friendlier to today's environment. Having seen Collateral Damage, I now understand why.

Collateral Damage stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a rough 'n' tough fireman, whose family is murdered in a bombing by notorious Columbian terrorist "The Wolf." Confronted with the inability and unwillingness of the U.S. government to seek justice, our fireman hero decides to take matters into his own hands and heads to Columbia to seek revenge. In one sense, this film is almost uniquely appropriate to the world's post-9/11 environment, presenting as it does such a larger than life hero, who just so happens to be a fireman, a group we are all looking to these days as real-life heroes. Yet, on the other hand, Collateral Damage is clearly the product of a different era. Blatantly and painfully pointing out our pre-9/11 ignorance, never has America's innocence been shown so clearly and by such a poorly made movie.

Continue reading: Collateral Damage Review

The Hunted Review


Weak
Director William Friedkin has a great track record for examining his characters' inner turmoil as they battle the forces of good and evil. Friedkin is best known for pitting a mother, a detective, and a priest against the devil inside the little body of Linda Blair in The Exorcist. But some of Friedkin's best work can be seen in the action thriller The French Connection, where he transcends the raw power of the action film genre into something highly sophisticated and thought provoking. Thematically, The Hunted is comparable to Connection. However, those expecting Friedkin to deliver another quality action picture like Connection will be sorely disappointed.

The film opens during the war in Kosovo as highly trained hand-to-hand combat assassin (or "tracker") Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro) carries out his military assignment to murder a high-ranking official. He receives a silver star for his valor, but he is scarred and haunted by the widespread images of genocide. Like Rambo, his adjustment to civilian life is difficult as he finds himself unable to turn off his instinctual killing machine. He ends up hunting the forest outside Portland, Oregon looking for and killing in cold blood anyone betraying the credo of PETA.

Continue reading: The Hunted Review

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David Griffiths Movies

Collateral Damage Movie Review

Collateral Damage Movie Review

I'm not one for Septemeber 11 censorship. You know what I mean, where the...

The Hunted Movie Review

The Hunted Movie Review

Director William Friedkin has a great track record for examining his characters' inner turmoil as...

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