Movie Review: ‘Sabotage’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in 'Sabotage' Red Band Trailer
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in 'Sabotage' (Photo Copyright 2012 QED International)

By Ian Forbes

“I can’t stand it, I know you planned it” but to director David Ayer and co-writer Skip Woods, Sabotage is a mess of a film.

As a teenager in the 90s, I loved the Beastie Boys.  Not only did they put out music that I enjoyed, they made some really fun music videos.  Perhaps their best, and certainly the most recognized, is the Spike Jonze directed “Sabotage.”  It set the trio in an homage to ‘70s cops shows complete with some very excellent moustache work.

Sadly, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-driven film of the same name does not have the same pep, energy, and sense of fun.  Nor does it have the moustaches but I’d really have liked to have those first three components.  In the film, the Governator plays the head of an elite DEA team of covert operatives.  They attempt to steal 10 million dollars on a bust but the money disappears and eventually this “family” of operatives turns on each other looking for answers.

Okay, that’s about as simplistic as I could break it down. And I could go on and on and on breaking down each botched attempt at character development, each misstep in plot development, and a slew of actors who clearly just said yes because it was a chance to say they were in an action film with Schwarzenegger before it’s too late.

But I’ve got better things to do with my time and so should you. Don’t be fooled by Ayer’s involvement. This isn’t End of Watch, though he employs the ultra close-up, shaky, hand-held camera work used there a few times while the DEA super team of actors shows off the time they spent learning to clear rooms like a special forces unit. This choreography is about the only redeeming factor of the movie and it’s still not enough to make the film enticing enough that people should spend money on a trip to the theater.

It’s now been about 20 years (TWENTY YEARS) since Arnold was a the main character in a movie that justified the sense of nostalgia we all attribute to him. And unless the upcoming zombie flick Maggie he’s starring in with Abigail Breslin turns out to be amazing (and actually gets released this year), it’s going to be at least 21 years by the time we all ring in 2015.

Look, just don’t see Sabatoge. The title actually refers to your wallet and the money that’s been parted to sit through such a horrific excuse for an action script. Watching this a few months later on free cable, you’ll be able to casually pay attention to this as you please, if you somehow need to scratch that itch to hear Schwarzenegger say “Get Down” one more time. I was happy to hear it but I’m weird. You shouldn’t always aspire to be like me. It’s not as glamorous as it appears.


Sabotage opens in theaters on March 28, 2014 and is rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use.

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