Collateral Damage (2002) - Plot Summary Poster


Showing all 4 items
Jump to:


  • Firefighter Gordon Brewer is plunged into the complex and dangerous world of international terrorism after he loses his wife and child in a bombing credited to Claudio "The Wolf" Perrini. Frustrated with the official investigation and haunted by the thought that the man responsible for murdering his family might never be brought to justice, Brewer takes matters into his own hands and tracks his quarry ultimately to Colombia.

  • Gordy Brewer's family were killed in an explosion. The man responsible is a Colombian known as The Wolf. When the government feels that they have more important things to be concerned about than Brewer, Brewer decides to take things into his own hands. He goes to Colombia to try and find The Wolf but discovers that it's not going to be that easy. And when a woman and her child get in his way he has to decide just how much like the Wolf he is willing to be.

  • After his family is killed by a terrorist act, a firefighter goes in search of the one responsible.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The film opens with LAFD firefighter Captain Gordon "Gordy" Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his fellow firefighters rescues the people who trap inside the burning building. After they rescued the old woman, Brewer is caught in an explosion.

    Cut to a scene where Brewer teaches his son on how to play a toy plane and they plan to meet his son, Matt and wife, Anne in downtown Los Angeles.

    The wife and his son goes to the downtown and they wait for Brewer's arrival. Meanwhile the man (who later revealed as the terrorist) disguises as the police officer parks his police motorcycle in front of the Colombian Consulate and the convoy of Colombian officials and American intelligence agents arrive at the consulate. Brewer arrives at the place and he informs the man to pick up his family. As Brewer is about to pick up his family, the bomb in the police motorcycle explodes, killing nearby innocent civilians, the officials, and including his son and wife then Brewer is being hit by a taxi, injuring him.

    Later, Brewer is traumatized when his family is killed in an explosion. The FBI states that 24 people injured, 9 people dead including those mention above and the explosion is a terrorism act. Brewer is brought to a hospital and removes some shrapnel out of his body. Suddenly, Brewer realize that the man who disguises as the police officer he met before an explosion is the responsible for the attack and the FBI officers tries to thwart him.

    A tape is sent to the U.S. State Department, in which a man pretends as police officer calling himself "El Lobo" (The Wolf) claims responsibility for the bombing, explaining it was in retaliation for America's oppression of Colombia. The FBI believes El Lobo is a Colombian terrorist named Claudio Perrini (Cliff Curtis), the man disguises as police officer who was there in an explosion.

    At his home, Brewer receives a message on the phone from Ken Barnett of Lateline and he's invited to tell his story about the incident at the studio and pounds the phone. Shortly, the news airs the videotape from El Lobo, claiming the responsibility of the explosion. Also, it claims that they bombed at least 7 places, including the most recent bombing is the Colombian Consulate in Los Angeles. On the TV, we see only the terrorist in silhouette and lower-pitched voice saying that the bombing was an act of self-defense against American war criminals, also, if the Americans continue aggression towards the Colombian, they will bring war to them. The terrorist concludes that Colombia is not their country and has to get out now and make a gesture means "Sangre o Libertad" ("blood or freedom"). After that, Brewer becomes furious when the reporter mentions the killing of his family and Latin American Solitary Committee Mr. Ortiz calls "collateral damage".

    Brewer then breaks furiously inside the newsroom and begins wild and whacking anything with a baseball bat. A few minutes later, the FBI officers arrive and incapacitate him with an electric gun. Later, Brewer is brought to the FBI and he will not arrest him because Mr. Ortiz dropped the charges on him. Agent Phipps (Miguel Sandoval) ensures that The Wolf is back in Colombia.

    CIA Special Agent Peter Brandt (Elias Koteas), the Colombia Station Chief, is harshly reprimanded for the incident by a Senate Oversight Committee, who promptly terminate all CIA operations in Colombia. Brandt angrily returns to MompĆ³s and meets with his paramilitary allies to plan a major offensive to take down Claudio and his guerilla forces. At Brewer's home, Ed advices to him on how to get inside Colombia.

    Brewer goes to Mompos, Colombia in order to track down Claudio. First, he gets to the bus and the next morning, the bus suddenly stops when the guerrillas stopped every vehicle on the road and begins checking anything on them. In order to not being seen by the guerrillas, all the passengers inside the bus have to get out and hides beside the running bus. As the passengers running towards the forest, the guerrillas sees them running and begins firing at them, killing some of them. The three girls are being confronted by one of the guerrillas but Brewer subdue him and the three escapes. The guerrillas pursue Brewer until he outruns the guerrillas by jumping off the river. The guerrillas found the Brewer's bag that he left behind before he jumps off, containing his passport.

    The men presents the copy of Brewer's passport to Brandt and alerts them for Brewer's presents. At the same at the guerrilla camp, Roman presents the copy of Brewer's passport to Claudio and they want to capture him and once they capture Brewer, they will hold a ransom.

    Brewer goes to Mompos harbor then to the carnival. Brewer sees the motorcycle is about to run towards the boy named Mauro but his mother named Selena pulled him out. After that, Brewer is arrested for entering the country illegally.

    At the prison, he meet Canadian mechanic Sean Armstrong (John Turturro) and wanted him the pass for guerrilla zone but he refuses. Later at night, the guerrilla troops alerted the prison with the loud horn before they fire a mortar on the prison. There, Claudio and his fellow guerrilla manages to kill the police officers and free the prisoners out. Brewer sees Claudio at the second time. Brewer incapacitates one of the troops and obtains the circular saw they used to free the prisoners. Brewer frees the other prisoners and he will not free Sean unless he give the pass to him. Sean gives the pass to Brewer and frees him. After that, Sean retired as a mechanic and he tells him to get the harbor, once he get to San Pablo, he will ask for Felix Ramirez (John Leguizamo), a drug runner. Also, he tells that Brewer is the replacement of Sean.

    Brewer goes to the upriver and through the mangrove forest. There, he sees the dead men and the indigenous people. Later, the guerrillas stops the boat and asks them for Felix. Once he get there, Brewer pretends as the mechanic and falsely introduced Felix and one of the guerrillas as "Heinrich Beckmann". Brewer and Felix goes to the facility and he pretending to be a mechanic hired to fix a generator, Brewer rigs several improvised explosives.

    Claudio and his troops confronts one of the guerrillas whom he met "Beckmann". He did not realize that "Beckmann" is actually Brewer and he made a mistake. The guerrillas forces the man to open his mouth with a metal brace and chokes him with the coral snake, killing him. Claudio tells them to find Brewer.

    Meanwhile, Brewer still continue making improvised explosives. At night, the guerrillas arrive to find Brewer and tells Felix where Brewer is. Brewer sees them and throws a Molotov cocktail right in front of them and destroying the facility in the process. Roman then shots Felix and dies in front of Brewer hiding under the truck.

    The truck heads to Claudio's headquarters. Brewer then infiltrates Claudio's headquarters and plants a grenade in the gas tank, but is captured when he tries to prevent a woman named Selena (Francesca Neri) from being caught in the blast radius along with her son, Mauro. At Claudio's home compound, Selena reveals that she is Claudio's wife and that she and Claudio once lost their own child during an attack by American forces, which compelled Claudio to become a terrorist and fight back, while Selena found and adopted Mauro, whose parents were killed in the attack.

    Meanwhile, Brandt's unit locates Claudio's compound and launches an attack. During the ensuing shootout, Roman and his fellow guerrillas are killed in the process while Selena helps free Brewer. Brewer sees the landmine set in the forest and clears it before they step through. Brewer fights one of the Brandt's unit until he getting blown by landmine. After that, Brewer meet Brandt for the first time in Colombia and he explains that The Wolf is gone to Washington D.C. to blow another building and Selena and her son will come to identify the target.

    Claudio arrives at Washington D.C, at the same time with Brewer, Selena and her son. The lower-pitched voice over of the terrorist saying about a bomb has been planted in Washington D.C., at the time they hear the message it is too late for them to find it. Claudio leaves the briefcase at Union Station which is contained to be a bomb, then an old man picked the briefcase and try to open it. At Dulles State Department Annex, Selena identifies Union Station as the target. On the pretense of using the restroom, Selena informs the State Department employee to come along and when Mauro refuses to come with her, she becomes irritated. Brewer recognizes Selena make the same gesture and the words "sangre o libertad" as the masked man claiming to be El Lobo made in the tape, and realizes that she was the Wolf all along, with Claudio serving as her figurehead. Brewer comes to find Selena. As the officers raid the old man with the briefcase, it turns out empty.

    Selena then kills one of the State Department employee inside the restroom by snapping her neck. Brewer sees Selena dialing in her cell phone (which he realize that she was there at the time of explosion in L.A. and she was using a cell phone to activate the bomb) and pursues her but fall short when she enters the elevator and kills a man inside. Furthermore, Brewer surmises the real target is the State Department. Brewer quickly throws Mauro's toy dinosaur, which is carrying a bomb, out a window moments before it explodes. Brandt, realizing Brewer's suspicions, is shot and killed trying to stop Selena from fleeing the building.

    Meanwhile, the second bomb set inside the truck at the basement.

    Brandt, realizing Brewer's suspicions, is shot in the head while trying to stop Selena from fleeing the building. Brewer opens the elevator door and jumps off the shaft where Selena is in there and she managed to get out before Brewer get in. Selena then subdues Brewer and then she gets out of the shaft. Brewer chases Selena to the basement of the building where she and Claudio ride off through the underground tunnels on a motorcycle. Brewer finds the tunnel control console and shuts the gates, preventing their escape. Brewer chops open some gas lines along the walls of the tunnel and, as they ride back, Selena shoots at Brewer, igniting the gas. Brewer jumps through a doorway just as the entire tunnel explodes. Selena and Claudio survive the blast, however, Claudio and Selena attack him simultaneously. After a short, hand to hand fight, Selena is electrocuted by being tossed on the exposed circuitry of the control panel. Claudio incapacitates Brewer, then just before he detonates the second bomb using his cell phone, Brewer throws an ax on Claudio's chest, finally killing him.

    In the aftermath, Brewer carries Mauro in his arms as they leave the State Department. A newscast voice-over explains that Brewer will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for preventing one of the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history from taking place.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page