By Darin Skaggs
Movies have been around over one hundred years at this point, so long that some films are made to get a response out of us because of our knowledge of other films. This year’s Sabotage is a film that takes everything you know about Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made a career in the 1980’s as one of the biggest action stars of all time, and flips it on its head.
Sabotage opens with DEA team led by John “Brecher” (Schwarzenegger) that is sent to a mansion that is full of drug dealers and their earnings. The mission goes well except one casualty on the side of the DEA, until at the end of the mission the team has found the ten million they were after has disappeared. In the after math the entire team are suspects. After being suspended the team is being killed off one by one, assuming one of them is the killer the team must work together to figure out which of them is the traitor.
This is a good mystery thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat on who is killing this team and who stole the money. It sets up the whole team as fun characters to make you care when they die and when others turn out to be not so great you feel betrayed like the other characters. Each and every death is violent and disturbing, not shying away from the horror of what is going on. It is also a take on all of Schwarzenegger’s older films killing people left and right and other action films from that time. It makes you feel the weight this is putting on Breacher and other characters and how in reality this kind of life they live would make them almost soulless in their actions. And when we finally get to the big Arnold action scene it is a lot of fun while simultaneously turning out to be the most disturbing and tragic of them all.
This film takes a look at all aspects of this genre, almost mocking and at the same time paying homage to the films of the eighties. At one point a female cop, who is working with Breacher, shares a night of passion like when other damsels fall for the action star, but this turns out that Breacher was just using her for information. Almost as a joke that romantic entanglement is never mentioned again. The film is constantly saying this isn’t a mirror of its action counter parts.
Sabotage is a fun action movie that takes a look at the genre as a whole. It uses violence to its fullest, at parts crossing the line, although that is the point and also says people who would do this are probably not the best people. It takes a look at Schwarzenegger career while making an entertaining mystery.