Sabotage (2014) – In cinemas 7th May

May 2, 2014

Sabotage – review

Director: David Ayer

Duration: 109 minutes (US)

Brutal deaths aplenty. Public office hasn’t dampened Arnie’s thirst for violence then.

Sabotage is a film that is, in many ways, critic-proof; a great, big, hulking action film that punches with abandon. It has its place, and any snobby sniping that picks holes at it is locking its sight onto an easy target.

Indeed, it doesn’t take much time before Sabotage delivers the thunderbolt of truth; this is a picture destined to find a hungry audience in the form of the (no doubt, predominately male) post-pub crowd. It’s gory and full of expletives. Lovely.

What’s it all about? Well, Arnie heads up an elite DEA force. After an operation involving a drug cartel, the troupe finds themselves being taken down one-by-one. That’s all you really need to know.

Wearing its testosterone, muscle-pumped machismo on its (heavily) tattooed arm like a badge of honour, it shoots its gun not without some unreconstructed charm.

Arnie may occasionally creak along with a gait similar to Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, and he may offer more wood than an Ikea flat-pack, but he has always been a success in spite of his limitations and his wonky balancing act between amateur-done-good and bona fide icon.

There is a nice little injection of humour here and there, which does feel like a 80s action flick throwback. The sight of Arnie in a sombrero is almost worth the price of admission alone. Sam Worthington is solid. The usually reliable Brit Olivia Williams is slightly off key as an American police officer. She is regularly guilty of wandering accent syndrome (not a real condition by the way). A minor quibble.

Of course this is trash, but surely you won’t come to it expecting, or wanting, anything else? It plays like a film that is well aware of its audience. It knows who they are and why they are there. And it plays to them very well.


Sabotage is released into cinemas on 7th May 2014.

Here is the trailer:

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