March 14, 2014
Sabotage (Pre-) Review: Dangerously Morbid and Not a Fun Time.


I had the (mis-)fortune of seeing Sabotage, the new film from David Ayer, last night. I would advise you to not pay to see it and probably to never see it, unless someone pays you to.

When you see an Arnold movie now, you want one that has some schlocky, fun moments. A throwback to his heydey, like The Last Stand (even Escape Plan is passable compared to this but he’s not the star). You don’t want to see an Arnold movie that is dangerously morbid, and that has you fearful some sadistic shit will happen on screen just because it can.

Schwarzenegger leads an elite special ops DEA team that are tough but have no real lives it seems other than being agents given that while under investigation, they sit around their “office” waiting. His unit is all about the machismo, and their displays of bravado are somewhat manageable but can verge on the obscene or tired when things go on too long, like when ‘Grinder’ (Joe Manganiello) thinks Olivia Williams investigator character is a stripper.

The movie is about this “team” and its rise and fall but the plot isn’t very interesting and the characters are not very developed so it doesn’t have much going for it. Despite those flaws, Sabotage could still have been a passable action movie, but Ayer doesn’t care to discuss weapons or the tactical aspects of the infiltration unit and there are no grand set pieces that explode or fist fights that leave you cheering.

Sabotage also doesn’t care about laughs, though there may be some laughable moments. There is really only one funny scene and that’s when Arnold aka ‘Breacher’ gets his team back together. The scene doesn’t rely on any tossed out quips from Arnold, though he gets in the last dig.

Mostly what Sabotage does have is gratuitous killings, on and off screen, that lead one to believe the next kill will be even more grisly just to keep on shocking the viewer. Even these are limited however given the limited number of potential targets available.

The most interesting aspects of Sabotage are the facts that two of the actors, Schwarzenegger and Worthington, were in the Terminator series and both saw their careers boosted by James Cameron (Terminator and Avatar respectively). Other than that, it isn’t even hilariously bad, it is just bad.

Rating: 2/10

ps - I don’t know how IMDB’s “Starmeter” is calculated but it values the actors playing “Club Patron” and “Stripper” above Sam Worthington and Olivia Williams (as of 3/14). IMDB for Sabotage.