BEWARE BIG SPOILERS WITHIN
If you haven’t yet been to watch Sabotage – the latest offering starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – don’t bother unless you’re trying to be ironic or you just love that feeling of déjà vu. Because the odds are that you’ll really feel you’ve seen it before.
There is a lot to dislike on cliché basis about this film – and not much to like. You really have to love the all-action hero, unbelievably capable villain type of genre to enjoy this. But then you could say the same for 99% of Arnie’s movies – so it’s kind of a love it or hate it type thing. But if you’re in the latter camp and hoping for something a little different this time around – stay home and rent a DVD instead. It really isn’t worth a trip to the cinema.
Schwarzenegger plays John aka “Breacher” Wharthon. He’s the leader of a team of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents who work for the US Department of Justice. The unit was formed by James aka “Monster” Murray – played by Sam Worthington, and his wife Lizzy (played by Mireille Enos). Their co-founders were Julius aka “Sugar” Edmonds (played by Terrence Howard) Tom aka “Pyro” Roberts (played by Max Martini) Joe aka “Grinder” Philips (played by Joe Manganiello), Eddie aka “Neck” Jordan (played by Josh Holloway), Bryce aka “Tripod” McNeely (played by Kevin Vance), and “Smoke” Jennings (played by Mark Schlegel). Yes – it’s already sounding like a cliché isn’t it? But there’s worse to come…
Smoke is killed in a raid on a drug’s cartel’s warehouse, so the unit members steal $10m of the cartel’s cash and hide it in a sewer intending to get it later. But – you’ve guessed it by now – it’s not there when they come back.
The boss of the team, Floyd Demel (played by Martin Donovan) finds out what has happened and puts them all on suspension – during which time they’re all investigated for theft. But there’s no evidence to support this so they’re reinstated but then Breacher finds Lizzy is a drug addict and her marriage to Monster is on the rocks.
Pyro is then killed by a train, and investigators Caroline Brentwood (played by Olivia Williams) and Darius Jackson (played by Harold Perrineau) investigate the case – interviewing other unit members along the way. They then find Neck nailed to a ceiling and Brentwood presumes the cartel members are knocking them off one by one to get their cash back – or as punishment.
From this point, the movie gets ever more violent and to reveal more of the plot would be to spoil it for anyone making the mistake of wanting to watch it. But be warned here – there are times when the violence feels a little gratuitous and without much of a point in the plot.
On the up-side, it keeps you metaphorically turning the pages like a trashy novel – and if you really love a highly violent Arnie thriller, you’ll probably like it; so each to their own as they say!