Schwarzenegger is back, again. You just can’t keep this legend down. This time he’s staring in Sabotage, the new film from director David Ayer (End of Watch). We find Arnold is the leader of an elite DEA task force who find themselves being taken down one by one after they bust a drug cartel safe house. Arnold must then find out who’s killing his team before it’s too late. Co-staring Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard, and Josh Holloway.
Most new Schwarzenegger films come under fire from audiences just wanting to make fun of him for his age and whatnot. It’s an easy joke, which in and of itself is getting old. Yes, we can see that he’s aged and isn’t the “action god” he once was, but he’s still out there making it work. Whether it’s good or bad is subjective, but at the end of the day, he’s still a working actor that has a massive fan base that doesn’t care how old he gets. And as far as new Schwarzenegger movies go, this is one of the better ones.
Schwarzenegger plays John “Breacher” Wharton, a legend and the leader of one of the most elite badass DEA task forces fighting the war on drugs. He plays it as good as we would expect Arnold to play it, but this time around he is really trying to play a different character than we’ve seen him do before. Yes, he is all badass and taking names like always, but there is a real character this time. He isn’t the “action god” we’ve come to always see, here is a man who has lost everything and is still fighting for what he believes in. Arnold really did bring a new level of acting, well, acting for him anyway. He’s never been the best actor, but here he is really stepping up his game.
His team is filled with good actors playing very different roles than we’ve seen them in before. Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway, Max Martini, and Mireille Enos are his team of DEA agents. Of course, some play their characters better than others, but all turn in decent performances for the movie they’re in. Worthington turns in the best performance as James “Monster” Murray. He is almost unrecognizable in the role: Shaved head, tats, and some crazy facial hair. He was one of the few stand outs in the movie. But unfortunately, the team itself is very hard to believe as agents, because for most of the movie they spend their time acting like irresponsible children. They work hard and then play really hard. It’s just something that gets old real fast for the flick.
Olivia Williams plays FBI Investigator Caroline Brentwood, who has been tasked with finding out who is killing off Schwarzenegger’s team. The movie is set in Georgia, and Williams, being a native of England, does a decent southern accent for the most part. Depending on the situation, her accent sometimes goes a bit too far and strays into True Blood territory, but for the most part, she is the best actor in the movie. She has this task that she can’t seem to get a leg up on. The DEA is stopping her at every turn, leading her to have to dive deeper into Arnold’s world and try not to lose her objective.
The flick has some decent action beats, good car chases, and lots of action and gore that you’d expect. It has one too many F-bombs though, it loses the “impact” of the word, and just becomes something said just to say it. The action is pretty gory, with lots of blood and nastiness, but done with very good effects. Arnold has a few one-liners, nothing you’d roll your eyes at, but they won’t be remembered either. The movie takes some very dark turns at certain times, which is why this stands apart from other Schwarzenegger flicks of the same ilk. That’s due to the director/writer, David Ayer, who has an eye for much darker police/cop drama action flicks.
Over all, the movie is good. It’s nothing to write home about though, very standard and pretty generic. But if you like watching Schwarzenegger do his thing with other badass actors, then this is a flick to check out. It has its glaringly obvious flaws, but you move past it and just enjoy watching things blow up. And really, when it’s got Schwarzenegger, what else do you need?