Welcome to the latest round of A Dose of Buffa At The Movies. Let me start things out with a new release in theaters, Sabotage.
Let me first say that I walked into this film with a certain level of expectations. David Ayer, the co-writer/director had just put out the amazing cop film End Of Watch and hit a personal career high mark. When he sought out Arnold Schwarzenegger for this role in this deadly DEA agent corruption saga, I got a good vibe. This wasn’t going to be your typical Arnold action film. There was a chance it could be something more. Good cast and a fine looking trailer came around and the expectations were built. I wanted something special. What I got was a letdown and a film that relied too heavily on gory action and not enough on its story. Here is a more detailed reason why Sabotage isn’t worth your hard earned money in the theater.
PLOT-Arnold leads a DEA task force of mercenary like killers into this seize of a drug cartel’s cash and when 10 million goes missing, the team tries to seek out the mole responsible and begin getting killed off one at a time.
REVIEW-Sabotage isn’t a total mess but it is definitely a disappointing film from Ayer, who is white hot right now off the success of his gritty brilliant cop film End of Watch. Whether he likes it or not, the bar was raised for any film involving him, especially one with him behind the director’s chair again. This isn’t a blue balls bonanza where you get really high on the film before a monstrous letdown but the wheels do slowly come off in the second half of the film after the beginning is strongly built on intensity.
When I thought it could be something more the film turned out to be a brainless action film. The action scenes are tactical and realistic. In your face bloody and well executed. They are a true highlight of the film in the beginning until they become an exercise in overkill as the wrap up begins and the reveal of the source of the betrayal is made.
The film falls apart in the end due to a series of twists that just don’t add up. That’s too bad because the action sequences are shot with a visceral abandon and amp up the tension. Ayer takes a page from Michael Mann’s book here and allows every bullet fired and explosive set off to feel like its happening right next to us. Its a shame the story couldn’t pack the same punch.
When you do find out who the mastermind behind the corruption is, it’s a head shake and not amazement. Something seems tacked on in the end and it kills the whole film. The story when viewed as a whole doesn’t sit well. Ayer and Skip Woods fumbled it. While they were impressive in their sales pitch, they seem to lose touch of it all as they tried to figure out a way to complete the plot. In the end, it was…wait for it…sabotage.