Matt Adcock’s film review: Sabotage is a sorry slab that should call time on Arnie’s action career

“Scheming on a thing, that’s a mirage, I’m trying to tell you now, it’s sabotage…”

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th May 2014, 8:45 am

Alas there’s not a Beastie Boy to be seen (or even heard) in this limp and stupid ‘action thriller’ that pretty much nails shut the coffin on Arnie’s leading muscle man credentials.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big Schwarzenegger fan, and grew up loving his cheesy butt-kicking roles in Terminator, Commando, the original Total Recall and others.

But all good things come to end and if there is any justice in the world, Sabotage should provide a juddering halt after audiences endure the 66-year-old all at sea as leader of an elite DEA tactical team.


Director David ‘End of Watch’ Ayer has made some great cop action thrillers but Sabotage is by far his weakest effort to date.

Arnie is actually the least of the problems. He might look confused as to quite why he’s even there – which isn’t helped by his most used line being “What the f…?” – but there are a couple of moments when his sheer bulky presence works.

The script, however, is DOA and the rest of the cast look as if they have wandered onto the set from another film altogether, seemingly ad-libbing wildly.

Chief offender is Terrence Howard who plays Julius ‘Sugar’ Edmonds – his DEA tag should have been Julius ‘Token Black Male’ Edmonds as he only gets a few lines which are all stereotypical rubbish.

The rest of the ill-fated team – it seems that they are being taken down one by one by a psychotic drug cartel after stealing $10 million from them – include the usually OK Sam ‘Avatar’ Worthington as James ‘Monster’ Murray as well as Joe ‘Grinder’ Phillips (Joe Mangeniello), Eddie ‘Neck’ Jordan (Josh Holloway), Max ‘Pyro’ Roberts (Max Martini), ‘Smoke’ Jennings (Mark Schlegel) and Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos). All of them look suitably embarrassed to be there, and Enos in particular hams it up as if her life depends on it.

Sabotage is also unnecessarily nasty in places, which doesn’t sit well with the crass jovial tone banter tone of most of the dialogue.

What’s more, it boasts the worst car chase ever committed to screen and one of the limpest ‘climactic’ showdowns of all time.

Sabotage leaves no loose ends but is the cinematic equivalent of being repeated punched in the face by a angry imbecile.

Unsurprisingly, the advice is to avoid if possible.