Sunday, 11 May 2014



This is comfortably the least of Arnold Schwarzenegger's crunch-bang-kaboom filmography since 2001's Collateral Damage at the very least and possibly since Red Sonja all the way back in 1985. And I speak as one who generally enjoys Arnie's films when he's shooting and punching people and blowing things up and generally doing the Big Arnie Stomp: both Conans, the first three Terminators (yes, I know no-one really rates the third one), Commando, Predator, Total Recall, True Lies....I even liked The Last Stand and Escape Plan, both of which only came out last year, so it's not entirely down to the fact that he's now 66 and might be getting past it. In fact that may be part of why I liked them (and The Expendables 2): that he's plainly getting old and creaky but still doing the same knuckleheaded action stuff and occasionally wincing as he twists his dodgy hip.

Sabotage's problems (apart from being saddled with a completely meaningless title) include, but are not limited to, half the dialogue being indistinct, the other half being full of tedious profanity, and most of the characters being obnoxious dicks. Arnie is the head of an elite supersquad of badass DEA cops: they attempt to steal ten million dollars from the mansion they've just raided - but the cash goes missing before they can pick it up. Who took it? Then the team start getting picked off and bloodily murdered....

The only interesting character is actually Olivia Williams' power-suited homicide cop trying to work through the networks of Feds, Mexicans and Guatemalans to find the killer. Other than that, the only thing the film has going for it is a preposterous level of violence that frankly has no business being a 15 certificate. Spilled entrails, bloody gunshot wounds, one of the douchebags nailed to the ceiling and disembowelled: how did this manage to get away with the same BBFC certificate as Four Weddings And A Funeral?

Sadly, one supporting character and a ridiculous amount of wanton slaughter isn't enough to make the film more than a passably watchable mess. Yes, there's a car chase towards the end which raises the spirits a bit, but it's glum and overly serious, with little in the way of the one-liners you want from an Arnie action movie. It's all a bit depressing really.


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