Film Review: Sabotage

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Sabotage is an abysmal film and a waste of all of the talented actors that have nothing to do in it.

David Ayers’ new film is supposed to be an action, mystery cop thriller, but it doesn’t make a lick of sense and obfuscates its plot because it is so stupid. Arnold’s wife is killed by some bad guys, eight months later he and his team are stealing money from drug dealers in the middle of a bust, but the money disappears. Some time after a hearty investigation, Arnold is reinstated to his team, but the rag tag group starts getting knocked off one by one in seemingly revenge killings for attempting to steal money from the cartel.

Here are where the problems start, and I think I am going to have to go into full on spoiler list mode for this one. So SPOILERS ahead:

– Why would we buy that the cartel would come after these guys for 10 million dollars when the DEA (or whatever agency these guys work for, everyone is branded differently) blew up billions in the same deal? If we are supposed to buy into the equivalence principle based on the amount of money they pulled from the pallet of cash there was billions of dollars blown up.

– How did the government know some money was missing to try and prosecute these guys, this was never resolved if I remember correctly.

– Why did Arnold need to steal the ten million from his team when there were billions for the taking? Again, based on the equivalence ratio, they all could have had ten million; easily

– Plus, I don’t think it takes ten million dollars to bribe the Mexican police to find the killer of your wife and kid, especially when a major turning point in the film is based around Arnold’s incredible ability to procure information about some hitman. Shouldn’t he be able to just easily find the bad guy, who isn’t the bad guy of the film mind you, that frequents the local Cantina for a drink?

– I get that Mireille Enos is supposed to be a drugged out wacko by the end of the movie, but why would she go so nuts over ten million going missing that they were only stealing for Arnold in the first place. Plus, why is there a drug addict on your elite task force team?

– This movie casts walking charisma like Joe Manganiello and Josh Holloway and kills one off after a couple of lines and seems to build up the plot for the other before being unceremoniously taken out.

– Why is Terrence Howard in this movie? He is barely in it until the big twist that he is fucking Enos, who is married to Sam Worthington, who is also on the team, and they are also the bad guys in the film.

– Why does Sam Worthington look like an ex-white supremacist?

– David Ayer tries to shock you with violence in this film, but while it is graphic it is completely benign on effecting the viewer as there is no rhyme or reason to it. It is there for the sake of trying to be shocking and it lacks any real punch at all. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier makes you feel every punch and kick ten times more than this and there’s barely a sign of blood.)

– Did you know that Arnold’s character is capable of disappearing into thin air, because he does towards the end of the film.

– Olivia Williams is the best part about this movie and she does so as the film constantly tries to undermine her character because she is a woman. She sleeps with Arnold, because, why not, she becomes an emotional wreck at the end of the film and loses her man, she is constantly being dragged down by her partner, Harold Perrineau, who might be one of the worst on-screen cops in history. Yet she is easily the most interesting thing in the film.

– The ultimate story of the film is about Arnold’s revenge, but it is only the focus for the first minute and last five, why not tell that story in a more interesting way than running it through this convoluted mystery?

– The camera work is horrendous by Ayer and his team. It’s trying to be visceral, but it just becomes unintelligible most of the time. This doesn’t make it gritty.

– The is one cool room to room breach sequence, but the stakes only come from the children that are present in these apartments they are searching out.

– I’ve not seen a film in some time that seemed so disinterested in showing us the interesting things that they leave off screen. A couple of the crime scenes have this kind of cool cross cutting effect to them, but it felt too loose and sloppy at times and could have, again, been executed to better effect in another director’s hands I imagine.

– I’m not a nitpicker for reality in movies, but when you are trying to be as grounded as this film is in all of its grittiness, you can’t expect me to buy into Enos character being able to stay in that trunk, let alone shoot, in that final chase scene. These are also some of the worst shooters I have ever seen on a tactical team in a movie.

– I think almost every character in the film qualifies as a sociopath.

I could go on, but why waste anyone else’s time. This movie sucks. Don’t see it anytime, ever. The cast is fine here, they just have absolutely nothing to work with. It is a shame too, as there was some solid talent to play with in front of the camera.

Sabotage is an F

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