Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Olivia Williams
Directed By: David Ayer
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Open Road Films
Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
First thing I did when I got home from this movie was Google Arnold Schwarzenegger’s age. At this point in life I’m just hoping to look half as fit as he does at 66. In fact I should pray I live that long. The reason that bit of insignificant trivia was at the forefront of my mind is because he can still be a believable action star. After watching ‘Sabotage’, I believe that Schwarzenegger can pull off the lead in as many violent movies he wants to for the next decade. It’s too bad this potential return to form was sabotaged by an obnoxious cast of characters.
Breacher (Schwarzenegger) leads an underground group of mercenary-style DEA agents in a Cartel bust that goes bad when $10 million goes missing by the end of the mission. As much as it would help to visualize my complaints, I don’t feel like rattling off the seven crass biped creatures that make up his squad. They each carry around their own undesirable traits and probably still laugh at their own flatulence in the bathtub. After it becomes apparent that someone in this team has taken the money, the government takes it upon themselves to begin months of questioning and stalking that turns up nothing. But once the government gives up it’s investigation, things become complicated when it appears that the Cartel is now killing them one-by-one. Instead of the federal government becoming interested in an international criminal organization killing DEA agents, an Atlanta detective, Caroline (Williams) picks up an invested interest in the matter.
If it wasn’t for Schwarzenegger and Williams, I would have disliked everything. Despite tallying the highest kill count, Breacher feels like the most sane of the bunch. He seems to be the only one of the group that doesn’t abuse drugs, have a bipolar disorder and is able to carry a civil conversation that doesn’t involve constantly referring to the inquisitive Caroline as a stripper. His ensemble of commando DEA agents come off as a band of vulgar misfits that would much rather get in a fight in the strip club than worry too much about who’s picking them off systematically. I was hoping that the mystery murderers would at least speed up the process.
‘Sabotage’ is mild on the action, but shockingly heavy on the gore. I would have enjoyed more shootouts over people being disgustingly nailed to ceilings and bloated corpses wrapped in chicken wire. This movie goes with a mystery/thriller angle, but falls short of materializing any suspense or intrigue. I’m suppose to be on the edge of my seat with bated breath, but the juggling act of drama, suspense and action has them dropping the ball on multiple occasions instead of performing a trifecta in the genre department.
Despite the ineffective writing I did find myself entertained, but only when Schwarzenegger was realizing not everything has to be delivered in a stone cold tone and when detective Caroline entered a scene equipped with comebacks and pleasantries. I have to touch on these two again because they had a surprising chemistry. Even when the script finally calls for them to “do the deed,” it doesn’t feel forced, but more like a natural comedic break that allows for plot to move forward. Let’s just hope someone realizes Schwarzenegger’s talents are alive and well and shouldn’t be wasted as the sands of time slowly tick away.