Sabotage is spectacular, for the wrong reasons.
If you want to watch a Schwarzenegger film but Commando, or Last Action Hero is too highbrow and subtle for your taste, I have a film for you. Sabotage is a crime action thriller with all the subtlety of broke stripper demanding tips, complete with a 7th grade vocabulary.
It has been a long time since I watched what some consider Schwarzenegger’s worst film, Red Sonja, and I have no desire to revisit that film. That being said, Sabotage may actually be Schwarzenegger’s new worst film. It is juvenile, misogynistic, offensively vulgar, pointlessly violent, and myopic. Its entertainment value lays in the unintentionally hilarious dialogue, and the ludicrous behavior of the thuggish DEA Special Forces agents. Continually through the film, I found myself asking what underdeveloped high school student wrote the script. The answer to that question is Skip Woods. A screenwriter I now refuse to take seriously, until such time as he begins to produce works written above the maturity level of a 7th grade imbecile.
John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the commander of a DEA Special Forces team. James "Monster" Murray (Sam Worthington), Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos), Julius "Sugar" Edmonds (Terrence Howard), Joe "Grinder" Phillips (Joe Manganiello), Eddie "Neck" Jordan (Josh Holloway) and Tom "Pyro" Roberts (Max Martini) make up this team of dysfunctional agents. After they steal ten million dollars from a drug cartel safe house things start going very wrong. First, the money they carefully hid disappears. Then they are all investigated for the theft, and finally, after the investigation is canceled, they start turning up dead. It is now up to Homicide Investigator Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams), and her wisecracking partner, Jackson (Harold Perrineau), to solve the grisly murders.
Sabotage is a perfectly cast, competently made film; it has one big problem, the script. The script for this film is horrific, and it contains more problems than I can count. I would chalk the error David Ayer made in attempting to fix it and continuing to work with it, to inexperience. He should have tossed it, or brought in a more talented writer. While Ayer is not a bad screenwriter, he is not particularly good. I do believe he has significant potential as a director, and even a screenwriter, but at this point it is only potential.
Sabotage 2 out of 10, the sophomoric script prevents any redeemable qualities from shining through.