Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, and Joe Manganiello
Director: David Ayer
MPAA Rating: R
In the typical greed vs. team story, Arnold Schwarzenegger leads a team of DEA covert agents as Jon ‘Breacher’ Wharton, an experienced DEA team leader out for revenge. Under him are James ‘Monster’ Murray (Sam Worthington), Joe ‘Grinder’ Phillips (Joe Manganiello), Eddie ‘Neck’ Jordan (Josh Holloway), Julius ‘Sugar’ Edmonds (Terence Howard), Tom ‘Pyro’ Roberts (Max Martini), and Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos). Making up the best covert ops team in the DEA, they infiltrate a cartel safe house and burn the drug money, except for $10 million which the steal and plan to keep for themselves.
Things, however, quickly go awry when the money they stole is stolen. After a six month long investigation, eventually clearing the team members from stealing the money, the cartel begins killing off each member one by one. With the money still missing, and the FBI now involved, Breacher inserts himself into the investigation to find out who is killing his team, while everyone else’s motives come into question.
For an action movie, Sabotage is surprisingly boring. The original trailer for the film gave away pretty much everything there was to know, so the deaths of each team member were not surprising. Also, with so many people on the team, the movie began to get repetitive and stagnate as the audience is just waiting for the next agent to get killed.
Being a Schwarzenegger film, you’d think there would be a lot more life and excitement in it, but not even the terminator could put this movie out of its misery. The main goal of the film is to build and solve the mystery around who stole the money and who is killing each DEA agent, but the mystery is developed and executed poorly. What a good mystery does is develop a decent problem, which Sabotage does do, to it’s credit, by having the money stolen. There is some intrigue as to where the money went, but the money situation is dropped in about 3 minutes of film time, and a new, lackluster mystery is picked up in the murders of the agents, which the trailers already hinted at the killer being someone else on the team.
Aside for the cheesy and extremely overdone gore (the blood was hideously fake and was sprayed around too much), one of Sabotage‘s biggest flaws was the original premise: DEA and drugs. Ever since the emergence and overwhelming success of AMC’s television show Breaking Bad, the DEA and drugs have saturated the film-and-television market. 3 drug kingpin / cartel movies alone have been released within the past 6 months (The Counselor, Homefront, Sabotage), never mind the countless episodes of various television shows where drugs, mainly crystal meth, have been the main sticking point. The “drug craze” in entertainment has been quickly played out, and the plotlines for these drug movies, such as Sabotage, have become expected and unoriginal.
To be fair, Sabotage wasn’t bad, per say, it was just boring, primarily because this story, the drugs and the greed, have been played out so many times before. This definitely wasn’t one of Arnold’s best (it’s miles behind his last film Escape Plan, which was rather good), and the lackluster supporting cast, while filled with semi-notable names, is unmentionable. I won’t recommend that you avoid this movie at all costs, unless you’re a hardcore Schwarzenegger fan (in that case stay far away, you’ll be disappointed), but I also cannot recommend that you do see it, because I’m sure you can easily find something better to see.
Rating: 3.5 of 10
Written by: Brian Leary
*All Images Courtesy of Google Images