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2014-04-17 11:13
What it's about:

An elite DEA task force takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done, until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start being eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect.

What we thought:

When a movie opens with an excruciating torture scene and suddenly goes ‘8 months later’, you immediately realise your stomach is not going to enjoy this one. Another in a string of comeback movies for ex-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sabotage is not exactly what you expect to see the aging action star in. Yes there’s lots of violence and explosions and guns. And violence. And some more violence in case you missed it.

I like my gratuitous movie violence as much as the next guy, but after half an hour of Sabotage I was beginning to feel sick. In Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez movies, there’s a somewhat whimsical element to the decapitations and exploding body parts that somewhat removes you from it. Even in the old Robocop and Judge Dredd movies the violence had a certain meaning for the larger theme of the movie.

Sabotage however seems to have gone the route of putting everything ugly, gross and horrible about human nature into a montage of one violent act after another. I get that they were trying to show the raw grit of the world of undercover drug cartel cops, but at one point I was wishing for some reprieve from the nasty, crude and unlovable characters. It is also one of the few movies that actually show the by-stander carnage of a car chase as an innocent bicyclist gets spread across the front windshield of a suspect’s car. One never thinks about these things when watching movie car chases.

As far as characters and plot goes, there was nothing redeeming at all about any one of them and even the supposed ‘good guys’ consisted of a bitter rude detective and her partner who was more interested in whether or not she was getting it on with Arnold’s character than solving murders. The group of ragtag DEA agents under investigation for some missing drug money hardly looked out for each other and was more interested in revenge, which was a far better suited title than ‘Sabotage’. I seriously think the creators of this dreg need to look up the meaning of the word as nothing in it ever really suggested that. It mostly people killing each other because they want to get even.

Besides Schwarzenegger, the rest of the crew looked very promising on paper, with Joe Manganiello from True Blood fame, Terrence Howard (The Butler, The Best Man, Ray)  and Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans), as well as British actress Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense, Hanna, An Education)  who is very underrated for her abilities. However the script failed them and no amount of ‘true grit’ could save this bloody mess of a movie.

Although some of the twists were unexpected, the reasoning behind some of the character’s actions is more ‘why did I waste my time’ WTF than Game of Thrones WTF. Even if you are a Arnie fan, I would strongly advise against this wannabe gritty action and rather get cosy up with good ol’ Terminator.

Sabotage definitely ain’t pretty, but no amount of grit and violence can keep this wannabe-noire flick from the bad-movie graveyard.

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