Saturday 12 December 2020

Movie Review: Sabotage (2014)

An action thriller, Sabotage is crammed full of repetitive scenes and bloody carnage, all to little effect.

In Atlanta, John "Breacher" Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads his elite Drug Enforcement Agency special ops team as they raid a fortified cartel headquarters. The bad guys are eliminated, and Breacher's crew also steal $10 million in cash to keep for themselves, but the stolen money quickly goes missing.

An internal investigation yields no outcome and months later Breacher reunites with his group, now wracked by guilt and suspicion. Soon the team members are getting murdered in gory ways, attracting the attention of Detective Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams). Breacher has to keep Caroline out of the way as he tries to identify the vicious enemies intent on eliminating his unit.

Primarily obsessed with puddles of blood and a surplus of gore, Sabotage trips up on repetitive scenes, an utter absence of charisma, and uniformly unlikable characters. Director and co-writer David Ayer scrapes the bottom of the dialogue barrel, everyone's vocabulary limited to predictable profanities and hurled insults.

Arnold Schwarzenegger at 67 years old is several decades too old for the role, and he is surrounded by the likes of Sam Worthington and Terrence Howard far from their best work. The conspiracy plot wades into ever more absurd territory with every murder, and the introduction of a personal vendetta angle for Breacher arrives too late and further strains credibility. Action scenes are supposed to somewhat rescue movies like this, but here Ayer rinses and repeats the same tactical unit building invasion shots every 10 minutes.

Neither smart nor fun, Sabotage self-destructs.

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