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Movie review: 'Sabotage' is gratuitously violent, ridiculously stupid

Published March 28, 2014 12:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Oh, there are so many ways to hate on "Sabotage," because it's not only gratuitously violent and disgustingly bloody, but also ridiculously plotted, freakishly macho and insulting to its viewers.

It starts with a Drug Enforcement Agency squad, made up of eccentric misfits, raiding a drug lord's mansion and blowing up his massive stack of cash — but not before stealing $10 million off the top. That money goes missing, though, and the DEA bosses put the team's leader, John "Breacher" Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger), under the microscope.

The investigation is dropped and the team is put back to work, which is when someone starts killing the team members one by one. Wharton spars with an Atlanta Police detective (Olivia Williams), while the surviving team members (including Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos and Terence Howard) start pointing fingers and guns at each other.

Director/co-writer David Ayer ("End of Watch") stages every killing with a fetishized glee, while treating with deadly seriousness the unintentionally comic adrenaline-junkie lifestyle of the DEA squad.

The movie's biggest mistake, among many, is to expect the rigid Schwarzenegger to play a conflicted antihero tormented by his past sins.

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zero stars


Opens Friday, March 28, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use; 109 minutes.