Damage (DVD)

While the character that Stone Cold Steve Austin plays whenever ey comes back to the WWE is beyond stale, I feel that the budding actor Steve Austin can take a lead role and change things enough to keep things interesting in a longer format. Damage is the first bit of evidence that I have for this, as Austin plays John Brickner. Starting out the movie as an inmate, Brickner realizes that prison bars are only a façade, and the individual that freed eir – Veronica (played by Lynda Boyd, of Final Destination 2) represents eir current jailor.

This is because Veronica has forced Brickner into raising the money for a medical procedure for eir daughter. Without any real connections in the world, Brickner has to raise funds through entering the world of underground fighting. This represents a breaking point for Brickner, and ey has to decide exactly where eir life should go. The film has a number of excellently-choreographed fight scenes that verge on the edge of reality (in fact, Austin’s dedication to the role was so great that ey broke the nose of professional MMA fighter Paul Lazenby during shooting), while not seeming as vapid as other “fight” movies.

Damage’s packaging is a little bit on the slight side, with foreign language track and theatrical trailers, but the print is stellar. This means that the video footage is as crisp and as clear as it would have been in the theatre, while the audio is nuanced enough to break apart ambient and vocal noises. Damage is the first of many Steve Austin roles to be coming down the pipeline (due to an agreement that eir signed with Nasser Entertainment and Caliber Media), and one can only hope that ey can take on dynamic and interesting roles for the entirety of the contract. Pick this film up, even if one is not typically a fan of “wrestler” movies or fight-heavy titles.

Rating: 7.4/10

Damage (DVD) / 2010 Fox / http://www.damagethemovie.com / http://www.fox.com

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