Sabotage (2014)

Sabotage (2014 film poster).jpgNot affiliated with The Beastie Boys

Director: David Ayer
Running Time: 109 minutes
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Joe Maganiello, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard

Considering how many franchises get unnecessary sequels years after their last film, it's good to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return with some new films. Granted, he'll be starring in the new Terminator and Conan films, but he's found the time to star in films that aren't tethered by an already established franchise. Now if only they'd be more memorable, and less like wastes of time.

Arnold stars as the head of an elite DEA task force. During a raid upon the home of a drug lord, the task force hides $10 million, only to return to find it has vanished. As a result, the team begin getting killed off one by one,

Skip Woods' script seems to be under the impression that ridiculous nicknames are enough to distinguish between the stock characters, as opposed to any significant development. It's the overall combination of this and the overly machismo performances that make the characters come off as unlikable dicks, and as a result, leaves viewers to not care that somebody is killing them off. In fact, there are good opportunities to make the group into actual characters, but more of a focus seems to be on generic dialogue lifted from better films, which is coupled with an unneeded overuse of swearing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger gives what is easily the best performance of his post-politics career, as the leader of the DEA task force who harbours a tragic backstory that motivates his actions, and it is through the scenes of him dealing with his demons that he shines. He works well alongside Olivia Williams, having a good back and forth with one another as a mismatched cop duo, and less so as obvious love interests.

David Ayer seemed to be on a mission to make this as needlessly bloody and grim, while somehow making the action scenes lack excitement. All this accomplishes is making the 109 minute runtime a gruelling watch.

Sabotage boasts one of Arnies best performances since his political career ended. It's all the more a shame that it has to come out of something so grim and gruelling without purpose.