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SABOTAGE - Movie Review

High-tension action with an even higher body count.

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes top billing for only the second time since ending his political career, and finally seems to be comfortable in front of the camera. Arnold is joined by a great ensemble cast, with the likes of Sam Worthington (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Iron Man), and Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike). They all have great on-screen chemistry and are very convincing as a tight-knit group of DEA task force agents that have worked together for a long time.

David Ayer takes the reigns as director of this action thriller.  Sabotage only marks Ayer’s fourth time directing a feature film, but it has the similar raw and visceral look of his previous two movies, End of Watch and Street Kings.  Ayer, who is mostly known for his writing (The Fast and the Furious, Training Day, End of Watch), also penned the script with Skip Woods (The A-Team, X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

Schwarzenegger’s character, John “Breacher,” is the leader of a ragtag DEA task force known for bringing down major players in the Mexican drug cartel.  Breacher runs a tight operation, but his world is turned upside down when a Mexican drug lord kidnaps and kills his wife and son. Things take a turn for the worse when he and his men steal millions during a drug raid.  His team starts to fall apart when the DEA starts investigating Breacher’s guys for the theft, and one-by-one members of his task force start turning up dead. With the help of a local Homicide Detective (Olivia Williams), Breacher must protect his teammates from a very violent demise while he tries to find out who is hunting them down.

Sabotage is a good addition to Schwarzenegger’s action library, with a hard “R” rating; the movie has a high body count, with violence on par with many of his beloved action movies from the '80s and '90s. With few exceptions, the action looked very realistic. One sequence in particular was so over-the-top, it was actually laughably unrealistic.  But then again, this is an Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick, and when has anyone deducted points for cheesiness?

Sabotage delivers on everything you would expect from a Schwarzenegger movie, intense action, graphic violence and one-liners with an Austrian accent.  The movie does however try a little too hard to be a murder mystery, when it would have been more enjoyable as a straight forward heist gone-wrong movie.  The twist ending felt forced and seemed too easy, it didn’t exactly work. But if you love action, Sabotage will not disappoint. There is no urgent reason to see this one in theaters and there is nothing overly original about it. You won't regret waiting to rent this one.

-KO

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