ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Collateral Damage (2002), R
Analysis Date: February 9, 2002
CAP Score: 39
CAP Influence Density: 1.40

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE (R) -- Brewer's wife and son were collateral damage.

Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Director(s): Andrew Davis
Producer(s): David Foster, Peter MacGregor-Scott, Steven Reuther
Written by/Screenplay: David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths
Cinematography/Camera: Adam Greenberg
Music: Graeme Revell

Firefighter Captain Gordon Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a loving father and husband who relishes each moment with his family, cares deeply for them, unselfishly supports them and is proven as one on whom anyone could count. From my 12 years of training firefighters in handling radiation accident patients, that is a typical picture of a firefighter. We've all recently seen the mettle of firefighters and the emergency worker. Note that this movie may conjure some eerie and unsettling emotions since it is about a firefighter battling the deeds of terrorists and a skyscraper is destroyed.

Captain Brewer is late for a meeting with his wife and son for a doctor's appointment. He is to take his son to the doctor while his wife reports to her job as a nurse. Parking in a no-parking zone, Brewer asks the friendly three-wheel motorcycle cop who just backed his trike up to the curb (pointing toward the building behind it) if he could leave his car there for just a few moments while he goes in to get his son. The cop (who is not a cop after all) agrees, of course, to let Brewer park there for a few minutes. Little does anyone know the plans of the pretend cop. Without revealing the plans, Brewer's wife and son are killed by the pretend cop's plans.

It is deduced the act of multiple murder was an act of terrorism to fight the involvement of the US in Colombian drug trafficking. US relations with Colombia would not likely survive an incident so the US government opts to not conduct any investigation against Colombia. After weeks of no progress in finding the bad guys responsible for the death of his family, Brewer launches his own investigation and scurries to Colombia. By the way, "collateral damage" in this movie are the non-targeted lives lost as the target is killed. In this movie, Brewer's wife and son were collateral damage.

The rest of the formula is much the same as any other movie of this genre and I will not belabor it with a somewhat detailed accounting of it. But know that there is a lot of "R" in this R-rated program (but that didn't stop a bunch of parents bringing their young kids with them). Most of the R-rated programming is -- care to guess? Violence, murder and language. I will leave the itemization of the findings of ignominy to the Findings/Scoring section and will let the "Food for Thought" Scriptures suffice in this case.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

*******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Collateral Damage (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • fire terror
  • traffic injury
  • many dead bodies, repeatedly
  • much automatic gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • threats with firearms
  • guerrilla attack on police station
  • many battle deaths and much injury
  • multiple deaths by explosion
  • graphic beatings, repeatedly
  • ear ripped off with teeth
  • assault
  • attempted murder and attempted mass murder
  • death by electrocution
  • fighting to the death
  • death by axe to the chest

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 23 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 5 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • vandalization of property due to reactionary aggression
  • theme of getting revenge

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • man in shower
  • talk of oral sex and other talk of sexual nature
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • illegal drug manufacturing

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 7 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and two without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • multiple homicide by terrorism
  • replay of multiple homicide by terrorism
  • automatic gunfire into crowd - untold deaths
  • murder by a poisonous snake down a man's throat
  • additional gunfire murders
  • murder by head twist

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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