'Sabotage' ruined by awful acting, horrible script

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comMarch 27, 2014 

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Breacher in SABOTAGE, directed by David Ayer, opening March 28, 2014. Photo Credit:

ROBERT ZUCKERMAN

Sporting this year's second worst movie haircut -- the honor of being first worst belongs to Colin Farrell in Winter's Tale -- Arnold Schwarzenegger plays DEA task force team leader John "Breacher" Wharton. While on a drug bust, the team steals, then hides $10 million in a sewer. When they go back for it the next day, it's gone.

Their bosses think they've stolen the money but can't prove it.

After months of separation and being investigated, the group is reunited and are back in business. Then, one person at a time, the members of the team are murdered violently. An FBI agent played by Olivia Williams is charged with solving the murders. At first she -- and the team -- are convinced the drug cartel is getting revenge. As time goes on, she's not sure that's what's happening.

And Breacher and his team aren't exactly truthful with her.

Sabotage has a great cast. Joining Schwarzenegger and Williams are Avatar's Sam Worthington, Terrance Howard, Golden Globe winner Mireille Enos, Joe Manganiello and Lost's Josh Holloway. What the excellent cast doesn't have is an excellent script.

This is the latest from writer/director David Ayer. He penned the most excellent Training Day and helped write the original The Fast and the Furious. Ayer also did the most excellent End of Watch in 2012 and is joined in this project by co-writer Skip Wood who wrote X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Bad haircut aside, the still buff Schwarzenegger's fourth movie -- since leaving being California's governator -- is his worst. It demonstrates his limited acting skills. Schwarzenegger is always best when his movies have a sense of humor. When he's funny, the terrible delivery of lines and the almost always hokey plots can be overlooked.

His co-stars also suffer. The script turns them into pieces of wood plopped into the plot to conveniently move it forward. But it doesn't move forward. The more bloody and violent than it needs to be, Sabotage moves in circles and has more plot holes than the film's dozens of bullet-riddled bodies.

It's obvious that most of the script belongs to Wood, whose story-writing skills are suspect at best. Ayer is a good and creative director and storyteller, but to put it nicely, his movie is awful.

Really awful.

Director: David Ayer

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Williams, Sam Worthington, Terrance Howard, Mireille Enos, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated R for extreme violence, nudity and language. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- Don't miss Mr. Movie's online reviews at www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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