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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Damage
Damage
Fox // R // March 23, 2010
List Price: $22.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Danny Cox | posted March 29, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

When wrestlers venture into the world of acting, things don't always work out like they are hoping them to. Hulk Hogan did it a number of times and some outings were decent while others are very forgettable. The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has actually moved away from wrestling totally to focus on a career in acting and he's fared much the same way that Hogan did, but he's getting there. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin retired from the ring due to injuries after a long and great career, but now he needs something to do with himself so he's jumped back in front of the camera, only not in tights. He has shown his talents in a few films here and there, but now he's doing it full time and it remains to be seen if he really has what it takes to be a true actor. I guess starring in a film about fighting isn't a bad way to begin things then is it?

John Brickner (Austin) has recently gotten out of prison on parole after spending a decent amount of time in there due to manslaughter charges. Life on the outside isn't all it is cracked up to be though because Brickner is now working a low-paying construction job that he hates and soon gets a bit more pressure put on his shoulders. Veronica (Lynda Boyd), the widow of the man he killed is on his case now that he's been released and demanding she help her out with a huge problem she's faced with. She wants Brickner to help her raise $250,000 so that her daughter can have a heart transplant before she dies. Riddled with guilt, he takes on a second job as a bouncer but it just isn't cutting it either. Something has to be done to raise the money faster and a guy named Reno believes he knows what to do.

Reno (Walton Goggins) catches Brickner tossing a few thugs out of the bar he bounces at and sees a lot of potential in him for the world of underground street fighting. Along with his girlfriend Frankie (Laura Vandervoort), they teach Brickner everything he needs to know about fighting but it really doesn't take long for him to catch on. One-by-one Brickner starts moving up the ladder and getting noticed by more and more people so he knows this is what he needs to do to raise the money. Yet, in order to make it to the very top and get it all done; he's going to have to make his way through some of the toughest fighters the world has ever seen.



Soooo...can you see a lot of what happens in the flick?


Damage really is your typical run-of-the-mill story about a guy needing to fight his way through some really big dudes for a certain goal. There is not much more to the story than that and you can't really expect there to be so can you? We've seen it before so many times in movies like Fighting, Gladiator (not that crap with Russell Crowe), and the entire Rocky franchise and it works. This type of storyline really works because there are so many people out there that wish to see guys beating the hell out of one another and they could truly care less what happens in the rest of the movie. Steve Austin is the perfect guy to step into this particular role because he not only is a former wrestler and doesn't need the training on how to stage fight, but he also has a charisma about him that just longs to be on camera. He truly knows how to work any role he is put into and just kind of makes you care about him, what he's doing, and all he's going to say.

Please don't check out this movie thinking that you're getting any Oscar-winning performances or a deep plot that will have you contemplating what's going to happen next. Everything is rather predictable and the cast of this direct-to-DVD flick do what they can with what they're given, but it's still an enjoyable hour and a half. You need to do yourself a favor and shut your mind off for a while and just savor the beatings handed out by a face so many of us have watched on Monday nights for a very long time. I hope this is the start of good things for Austin's acting career because he's one of the few wrestlers I'd honestly check out no matter what they're starring in. Too bad Damage won't be viewed by the largest audience in the world because let's face it; fighting movies aren't for everyone. Those that like seeing a few jaws broken in between some humorous one-liners will find this to be a worthy purchase.

The DVD

Video:

"Stone Cold" and all the hard-hitting action is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and doesn't look all that bad. There are some moments here and there when the darker scenes make the action a bit hard to see, but those problems are very temporary. Not an overall bad transfer so no real complaints.

Sound

Damage is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it comes through quite phenomenally. All dialogue can be heard loudly and clearly while the fighting comes through in all of its battle-bound glory. Things really get going around the room when the fight scenes are happening because it really makes you feel as if you are right there among it all. Spanish and English subtitles are available.

Extras Extras

None - Not a single solitary thing. It would have been nice to have Austin on commentary or maybe some fighting featurette. I'd even have enjoyed a ten minute behind-the-scenes bit to see Austin joking around. The guy is funny.

Trailers - The Marine II, Sons Of Anarchy: Season One, Wrong Turn 3, and 12 Rounds

All Said And Done

Damage is quite the pleasant surprise for a direct-to-DVD release starring a former wrestler. The movie itself is well worth seeing, but the DVD itself merits no more than a rental. No special features? Nothing? We couldn't even get a featurette about the fight scenes or commentary with Austin? That's just upsetting and disappointing. Still, Austin is already working up my list of "Wrestlers Turned Actors" after this, just his third gig. The Expendables comes out later this year though and that is simply going to be an action fan's dream. Rent It.

Danny lives in New Orleans with his dog and writes plenty in way of movies, sports, NCIS, Crime TV, and life over at Examiner, IP Movies, and Associated Content. If you're looking to keep up with all he does though, there's always Twitter or Facebook.
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