News

REVIEW: Arnold Schwarzenegger fights for a return in ‘Sabotage’

REVIEW: Arnold Schwarzenegger fights for a return in ‘Sabotage’

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello surprises audience members at a special advance screening of their new movie, Sabotage, in Chicago. Photo: Associated Press/Barry Brecheisen/Invision

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama | Run Time: 109 min | Rated: R
Director: David Ayer | Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington

By: George Wolf

At 67-years-old, Arnold Schwarzenegger is having a career resurgence of sorts. Sabotage is his 3rd film to be released in the last 12 months, and he has 5 more in development, including sequels to Expendables, Conan and Terminator. That’s not to say he’s exactly found an audience for his return to the big screen, but he’s certainly trying.

Truth is, neither Escape Plan or The Last Stand – his last two efforts – made at the box office even half of what they cost to produce. You’ve got to hope that his sequels do a little better, or that he’s put away some cash for retirement from somewhere else, because Sabotage is not likely to please a wider audience than his last two flicks.

It’s a darker film that you might expect, with mercifully few jokes about Arnold’s age. As Breacher, a legendary DEA agent whose career has taken an ugly turn, the big Austrian leads a team of unhinged misfits whose last bust corrupted their trust in the team and in Breacher.

Sabotage was co-written and directed by David Ayer, whose resume is littered with ill-conceived, gritty cop dramas (and the first Fast and Furious flick – so thanks for that). It’s a winding tale of double crosses that betray the worst in everybody, but Ayer can’t find a clean path through the story and Arnold can’t begin to shoulder the emotional weight required of his should-be complex character.

Points for a couple of unusual casting decisions. Mireille Enos cuts a sketchy figure as the team’s sole female agent – a role that could easily have fallen to (and seems to have been written for) a shapely babe pretending to be a badass. Instead, Enos looks like someone who could be mistaken for a meth addict (a plus in the world of covert DEA ops). She chews scenery, but at least she’s memorable.

Likewise, Olivia Williams has talent, and her ease with the material allows some genuine chemistry and natural humor to invade an otherwise stiff, by-the-numbers action flick. What she can’t do is handle a southern accent. Ouch.

Some decent red herrings are thrown about as Williams’s good cop works with Breacher to figure out who is picking off his team one by one. This generates decent tension as the investigation leads us through otherwise obvious territory. It’s when Ayer tries to throw an actual curve ball that things get sloppy.

He’s not aided by his lead’s performance, though. The twisty, secret-riddled script required a performance with a modicum of range. And yet, Ayers cast Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Curious.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Read more movie reviews at MaddWolf.com.

Recent Headlines

in Music

New awards, big performances set for Sunday’s AMAs

taylorAMA

Taylor Swift will kick off the American Music Awards on Sunday by performing her chart-topping single “Blank Space” and will…

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

elvis

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Kids react to a realistic Barbie doll

19-overlay3

The Lammily doll wants to show children that average is beautiful.

in Entertainment

Amazon plans new streaming service

amazon

The new service will compete with Hulu and Netflix.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Third installment of ‘Hunger Games’ doesn’t disappoint

In this image released by Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen, right, and Liam Hemsworth portrays Gale Hawthorne in a scene from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1."

Reluctant hero Katniss Everdeen faces the broiling drama of a budding revolution in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1."