SYNOPSIS: In "Sabotage", Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done - until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start to be eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect.
REVIEW: The moment Sabotage begins, it's quite obvious that co-writer/director David Ayer has something horrid in mind for audiences. However, it's only once you've settled in and spent some time indulging, that the truly sleazy temperament of the movie becomes clear. This flick is set in a world where everyone is a giant piece of sh!*t, (with the exception of the two lead investigators) and even the perceived hero of the movie is a horrible person. A corrupt and broken law enforcer that is incapable of recognizing justice, much less dispensing it. Olivia Williams (Anna Karenina, 2012), on the other hand, shows up as one half of the investigating duo charged with seeking justice for the murders of the various members of Arnold's squad. She unapologetically makes interesting impedance for Schwarzenegger’s corrupted character, in the long run.
What ultimately works with this latest Schwarzenegger effort is the way it so unabashedly plays rough, the eclectic hardened characters that are sworn to protect and serve, and the caliber of talent playing those roles. And if one is going to tell a story involving Arnold, then it certainly can't be done halfway. You've got to give it up to a film that is so deeply Arnold Schwarzenegger-centric, and in doing so, giving him credit for attempting to shake up his own image so thoroughly at a time where he could easily just be coasting. The story and all the other elements are a frame for such an effort. Arguably Schwarzenegger himself has somehow, over the years, become interesting in a sorta’ nostalgic sorta’ way (to some extent). Though this movie doesn’t entirely show his ability to morph into the 21st century-style film-making.
On that same token, in place of lucidity and consistency, Sabotage mainly offers up the usual spectacular Schwarzenegger style, with big guns, lots of machismo to go around and action with buckets of blood. So much so that the former “Governator” should be advised that his 80’s/90’s style action sequences in films are no longer relevant in today’s environment: an environment that caters more to the smooth, swift action hero with less muscles, but more wit and pizazz.
There's probably a small element of a story here where key roles offer up the big spectacle of characters in collision. It's Schwarzenegger and Williams in a dance, sometimes working together, sometimes clashing, pursuing their own interests, coming together and coming apart. Everything else can be thrown out. So needless to say, Sabotage cannot be called a great movie (at least not with a straight face), but more like a decent Arnold Schwarzenegger flick if you are the sentimental type. It is not a movie worth the theater tickets and popcorn, but would be a cool action flick for DVD and pay-per-view. I do believe three and a half out of five stars is a fair assessment here.
By Movi-Man Stan
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