Monday, August 4 2014, 04:18 PM MDT
Movie Review: Sabotage
1.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Recommended To: Hardcore Schwarzenegger and David Ayer devotees only.
Synopsis: After a botched attempt at stealing $10 million from a Mexican drug cartel a group of hardened DEA agents lead by John ‘Breacher’ Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) find themselves killed off one by one.
Review: David Ayer’s films tend to feature hardened characters, often police, in extreme situations. Often these characters stride the line between being honest and being corrupt. In Sabotage everyone has strayed beyond the limits of good behavior in hopes of being rewarded for the hard life that they have chosen. This time Ayer, like his and writer Skip Woods’ characters, has gone too far past the line and the result is a film filled with unlikable characters surrounded by brutal violence that feels utterly pointless. John ‘Breacher’ Wharton is a broken man and broken men often make for great protagonists (look at Sylvester Stallone in Cop Land or Clint Eastwood’s career), but a broken man without principles isn’t a hero. He’s not even an antihero. What’s worse is in this particular story Wharton isn’t even all that interesting. Schwarzenegger gives his best performance in recent memory, but it is completely wasted by a script that is littered with bad dialogue and plot holes. It doesn’t help that the supporting cast either chews on the scenery or blends into it. (You’ll never forget that Mireille Enos was in this film. Terrence Howard on the other hand…) Considering the tone of the film’s final scene feels lifted from Robert Rodriguez’s tongue-in-cheek effort Once Upon a Time in Mexico, maybe we’re not supposed to take Sabotage seriously. In that case the film’s greatest sin is that it isn’t any fun.
-Ryan Michael Painter