2014 / Director. David Ayer.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I read somewhere that SABOTAGE was adapted from an Agatha Christie story... um... well, I think that it's safer to assume that if there is any Agatha Christie connection that it's structural rather than textual (LOL). Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent return to the screen has been more impressive than most of us would have expected. With bad-ass movies like THE LAST STAND, EXPENDABLES 2 and ESCAPE PLAN he has wisely chosen violence-driven vehicles that prove that he's still kicking ass and should never be underestimated. His latest film is SABOTAGE, which bypassed cinemas in most countries. With an impressive cast, which includes Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard & Olivia Williams, this is a take-no-prisoners action thriller that strips away the gloss of Hollywood. Arnie leads a special ops team of hardened DEA agents who take on the world's most dangerous drug cartels. They're the people who storm compounds, capture & kill gun-wielding bad guys and seize copious amounts of drugs & money. When the team hatch a plan to bag some of the loot for themselves (ten million dollars worth) they find themselves in the shit when their money goes missing. It then becomes a paranoid scenario of "who?" as each of them is bumped off one by one. Are they being played by a cartel they've fucked over or are the hits coming from within their own group? There is no messing around with SABOTAGE. It is an ultra violent and unrelenting film that pushes the audience all the way to the end. Director David Ayer is no stranger to this type of thing with gritty urban thrillers like STREET KINGS and HARSH TIMES under his belt. The story does become slightly convoluted and confusing in the middle but it all comes back into line for the final act, making SABOTAGE an unexpected and captivating 105 minutes of viewing. The violence in the film actually shocked me. It's very graphic and realistic and while the nature of it did not bother me the Australian classification kind of did. SABOTAGE was released with an MA15+ rating but is far more worthy of an R18+. It really is ghastly stuff and once again it makes me questions the whole classification system in Australia and how the ratings board actually operates. It seems farcical to me.