Sabotage Review
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Since returning to Hollywood after his brief political hiatus, Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned to his old ways, taking on the same old tough-guy roles in questionable action movies. But one thing can generally be said of Schwarzenegger’s films: they may not be brilliant, but at least they’re entertaining—with the exception of his latest film, Sabotage.

Schwarzenegger stars as John “Breacher” Wharton, the leader of an elite special operations team for the DEA. During a drug bust, the team decides to steal $10 million in drug money, but the money disappears from its hiding spot before the team can go back to collect it. Unfortunately, no one seems to believe that the team isn’t suddenly $10 million richer—including the DEA. And when members of the team begin dying in gruesome ways, it seems as though a vicious cartel is out for revenge.

As an actor, Schwarzenegger is best known for action classics like The Terminator and Commando and Predator—amusingly over-the-top thrillers that are typically more silly than they are smart. And that’s okay—because they tend to be just plain fun to watch.

Perhaps, however, Arnold’s time in office stripped him of his sense of humor. Or maybe he’s forgotten that he’s not actually a serious actor. But, whatever the case, Sabotage just isn’t any fun. Sure, it’s still big and noisy and explosive. It has its share of shoot-outs and high-speed chases. But it takes itself way too seriously, seemingly under the misguided impression that it’s a whole lot more clever than it really is. It’s also heavy and dark and sometimes shockingly graphic. And while the dialogue is sometimes so ridiculous that it’ll make you chuckle, it’s far from the amusing kind of guilty pleasure that Schwarzenegger’s fans might be expecting.

Of course, it definitely doesn’t help that none of the characters are especially likable. Breacher is supposed to be the father figure of the group—a tough guy with a tragic past and a heart of gold—but he never really comes off as particularly admirable. And no matter how big and intimidating Schwarzenegger may have been 30 years or so ago, he’s now in his late 60s—and it’s all too obvious that his character is well past the optimal age for a special ops leader. The rest of the team, meanwhile, is made up of a bunch of drunk and disorderly renegades who tend to treat everyone but their leader with outright contempt. So when they start dying, you’ll most likely feel more relieved than outraged.

Had it been given a lighter tone, Sabotage could have been another fun-filled thriller from a beloved action star. Instead, it’s a dark and dreary adventure from an aging hero who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s well past his prime.

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