Directed by Andrew Davis, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elias Koteas, Francesca Neri, Cliff Curtis, John Leguizamo and John Turturro.

Having witnessed his wife and child die in a terrorist attack outside the Colombian consulate, LA fireman Gordy Brewer (Schwarzenegger) wants answers. The only information he can glean from CIA agent Brandt (Koteas) however, is that the atrocity was the work of 'The Wolf' (Curtis), leader of Colombian guerrilla army the ALC. With the authorities far more interested in policy than people, Brewer's quest for justice is stonewalled at every turn. So he decides to take matters into his own hands: travelling south of the border in a bid to kill 'The Wolf'.

After battling the Devil ('End of Days') and the future ('The 6th Day'), Ah-nuld returns as saviour of the free world in this muck poor action movie. Shelved post September 11, the delay in 'Collateral Damage' reaching the big screen has afforded it a level of attention that it doesn't deserve. This time 'round Schwarzenegger doesn't have an entire arsenal at his disposal as he adjusts the demographics down Colombia way, but the outcome is still the same: one man army dispatches bad guys with consummate ease. And while he may admirably try to inject some emotional depth to the character of Gordy, the film is still one of those Arnie showcases that had their heyday around 1987.

Where director Davis really loses the plot is sending his star down to Colombia to look for The Wolf. Keeping the action in L.A. would have been a wiser option because the whole South American adventure looks so forced that you half expect Schwarzenegger to break into a travel programme piece to camera as he negotiates the gun-packing, vine-hanging terrain. Once he reaches his quarry, there's a short set of verbal tennis between himself and The Wolf about politics and causes, before going back to more jaded action and join-the-dots twists.

Full credit to Davis for adding the likes of Koteas as the CIA man and John Leguizamo as the drug dealer to the cast, but - having got them to sign on for the film - their scenes are far too brief and formulaic to pull 'Collateral Damage' out of the swamp. With the talents of the supporting actors, this film could have had a point if it didn't try so hard to pander to the kick-ass sentiments of Schwarzenegger's target audience. Instead it's exactly the type of film you hope Hollywood isn't going to make any more.

Harry Guerin