Movie Reviews
Damaged (2024).

Damaged Review: Samuel L. Jackson Deserved Better

Damaged, a film directed by Terry McDonough and fronted by the formidable pairing of Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Cassel, sets out to carve a niche for itself in the action-thriller genre but unfortunately falls short of the mark. This review unpacks the elements of the film that led to its disappointing execution, despite the promising premise and star-studded cast.

Chicago-based detective Dan Lawson (Jackson) ropes himself into a complex investigation of a series of serial killings in Scotland, which revolves around him in Damaged. Working alongside detective Bravo (Cassel), Lawson discovers chilling parallels to a case he tackled five years prior. The plot is rife with potential, teasing a blend of psychological depth and nail-biting suspense. However, the film fails to deliver on its intriguing setup due to a combination of flawed storytelling, underdeveloped characters, and missed opportunities in exploring its thematic depth.

The Bad:

One of the primary issues with Damaged lies in its narrative execution. The pacing is inconsistent, oscillating between moments of unnecessary drag and hastily concluded scenes that could have benefitted from more depth. The result is a storyline that feels disjointed. This makes it difficult for viewers to remain engaged or emotionally invested in the fate of the characters. While the film attempts to weave complex backstories and introduce plot twists, these elements often come off as forced or implausible, detracting from the overall believability of the story.

Furthermore, Damaged suffers from underdeveloped characters, especially when it comes to its leads, Dan Lawson and Bravo. Despite the undeniable talent of Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Cassel, their characters are woefully underwritten, failing to leverage the actors’ full capabilities. Lawson and Bravo are presented as archetypical tough detectives without sufficient backstory or character development to make them stand out from countless other detective duos in cinema. This lack of depth prevents the audience from forging a meaningful connection with them, making their journey and discoveries feel somewhat hollow.

The film also struggles with its utilization of the supporting cast. Characters like Glen Boyd (Gianni Capaldi), Kessler (Kate Dickie), and McGregor (John Hannah) are introduced with promising intrigue but are not given enough screen time or narrative importance to make a lasting impact. This squandered potential is particularly frustrating. These characters could have added much-needed layers to the storyline.

On the technical front, Damaged does showcase some competent elements. The cinematography and locations capture the moody landscapes of Scotland, hinting at the darker themes. Despite these strengths, the film fails to impress due to predictable and uninspired action sequences.

The film’s exploration of its central themes is superficial. There are fleeting moments when Damaged seems on the verge of delving deeper into these complex issues. Most particularly through its lead character’s internal struggles. However, the film quickly moves on, leaving its philosophical potential unexplored.

It’s also worth noting that the dynamic between Lawson and Bravo feels clichéd. The script misses the opportunity to genuinely delve into their partnership. It could’ve been in a way that would add a rich layer of tension and development to the story. This lack of nuance contributes to the film’s overall sense of shallowness.


Damaged had all the makings of a memorable action thriller but ultimately fails to deliver a cohesive and compelling narrative. Despite the allure of its scenic Scottish setting and the star power of Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Cassel, the film is bogged down by its pacing issues, underdeveloped characters, and a lack of depth. The fleeting moments of potential brilliance are not enough to save it from its overall mediocrity. Fans of the genre may find some aspects to appreciate, but Damaged is unlikely to leave a lasting impression.

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Damaged Review: Samuel L. Jackson Deserved Better
  • Acting - 6/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 4/10
  • Setting/Theme - 3/10
  • Watchability - 3/10
  • Rewatchability - 2/10
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  • Damaged (2024).
    Movie Reviews

    Damaged Review: Samuel L. Jackson Deserved Better

    Damaged, a film directed by Terry McDonough and fronted by the formidable pairing of Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Cassel, sets ...
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