Sabotage thwarted by its own ending

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Mirielle Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Mangianello, Josh Holloway, Max Martini and Harold Perrineau.
Directed by David Ayer.

★½

The film starts with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s DEA Agent John “Breacher” Wharton watching footage of his kidnapped wife being tortured by drug cartel members. This would normally indicate that we’re not in for a “fun” action movie, but a dark, hard-hitting one. But when we see the team together in their gun-toting, cartel-killing bravado glory, the tone shifts. These are men with big guns where the bad guys explode buckets’ worth of blood when shot.

They’ve arranged to steal millions of dollars from a cartel bust, but when they go to collect the money they’d set aside, it’s gone. Their agency knows it’s missing, the cartel knows it’s missing, but after months of investigations, the team is cleared. Ah, but then someone starts killing them one by one. Who is doing it and why?

The murders are gruesome, the dialogue unimaginative, and these could be forgiven to a degree if the mystery has a satisfying conclusion. Alas, when the killer’s motive is revealed, it doesn’t make much sense, and working backward through the events of the film, it didn’t add up. I’ve since read that director David Ayer (End of Watch) originally had a very different ending. The movie should have kept whatever that was, because this one didn’t work.

The acting trophy belongs to Mirielle Enos (World War Z). She plays a wild-eyed action junkie here, and she steals the show the same way Eva Green stole 300: Rise of an Empire. Most of the actors are really good here, which only serves to highlight Schwarzenegger’s limited range.

Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger David Ayer Mirielle Enos Movie Review Sabotage Sam Worthington

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