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 Sports

Steelers rally past stunned Texans 30-23

Fresh
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers plays during an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Pittsburgh needed just over a minute to turn a 10-point deficit into an 11-point lead

in Local Sports

WWU ahead after first day at Sonoma State Invitational

western washington logo generic copy/wwu

Vikings’ Jenn Paul holds medalist lead by three strokes as Western women lead at Sonoma State Invitational.

in Sports

US tops Haiti to advance in World Cup qualifying

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) signs autographs following the team's international friendly soccer match against Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Sandy, Utah. The United States won 8-0.

The U.S. women's soccer team completed Part I of its trip to the 2015 World Cup by doing the expected, dominating play in a win over Haiti to finish unbeaten in group play in the CONCACAF championship.

in Sports

Florida AD: season evaluated as it plays out

Florida head coach Will Muschamp paces the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Missouri won 42-13.

The Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) are coming off losses to LSU and Missouri. The 42-13 debacle against Mizzou on Saturday night, was one of the most embarrassing losses in Muschamp's three-plus years in Gainesville.

in Sports

MNF: Texans visit Pittsburgh on KPUG

Rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will miss his sixth straight game on Monday night when the Houston Texans play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coverage at 5:30pm on KPUG 1170AM.