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Review: Sabotage (2014)


Director: David Ayer Sabotage-Poster

Writers: Skip WoodsDavid Ayer

Stars: Arnold SchwarzeneggerSam WorthingtonTerrence Howard



With any movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger you can always guarantee assurance. We, as the audience, are assured of an all-round, entertaining movie with fights, guns and explosions. After all, it’s an Arnie film, isn’t it? Such is that with Sabotage that it plays to the many strengths of Mr. Schwarzenegger. There are no signs of any Oscar winning performances at all, but there are guns and lots of them.

Arnold plays John “Breacher” Wharton, a maverick who heads up the DEA special tasks force given the job of taking out drug cartels and getting something back in return. During one particular raid, they uncover a pile of money and put aside €10million of that for themselves which they stash in plastic bags and quite unceremoniously plunge down the pipe from the toilet into the sewers. After the last of the bad guys are wiped out, the team head into the pipes to retrieve the money only to find out that it’s no longer there. To add to their woes, it seems the drugs cartel whom they thought they wiped out are aware they stole the money and slowly start picking off each member of the team one by one.

David Ayer, of Harsh Times and Street Kings fame, has handled and controlled a script that he co-wrote and directed it much in a similar vain to his previous work and you cannot criticise him for that as it works. The script, at times, can be up and down with dialogue often written for the sheer hell of it as each knuckle-headed member of Arnie’s task force has to have their say and get as many “muthafuckers” in as possible. Ayer’s co-written script has that roller coaster effect of starting well and then dipping somewhat as the story begins to struggle for pace, but then, unexpectedly, the final third rockets us upwards and we’re fired at speed through twists and turns as the story starts to pan out and what we are left with can be described as enjoyable and worth the wait.

One of the highlights of Sabotage is the appearance of an almost unrecognisable Sam Worthington, of Avatar fame, who sports shaven head (complete with tattoos) and a tiny goatee beard (complete with plait). Worthington looked to somewhat enjoy his portrayal of his character “Monster”, but there was clear evidence of his acting abilities as well as his rugged action feature to go with it. His wife, the drug riddled Lizzy, played by World War Z’s Mireille Enos showed signs of potential, but occasionally consisted of some over-the top acting that just needed reeling in slightly. Terence Howard supports with extra muscle from Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway and Kevin Vance. Olivia Williams (Hyde Park on Hudson & The Sixth Sense) is the detective assigned to work the case who ends up working alongside “Breacher”

When Arnold Schwarzenegger opted to take a break from movies to concentrate on his political career there was a void left in all of our action-loving hearts and since returning, despite the difficulties in succeeding the popularity of his 1980’s hits, we all agree that he has been missed.