Modern action movies: “Sabotage”

Does Arnold “Arnie” Schwarzenegger still has what it takes in the action-thriller-drama Sabotage?

(USA 2014, director: David Ayer)


A group of special DEA forces is accused of having stolen money, and after a failed investigation put on hold, they’re killed one by one, and it’s up to detective Lizzy Murray to find out if it’s a drug cartel or one of head honcho John ‘Breacher’ Wharton’s gang who’s doing the killings.


After a no-strings-attached explosive beginning, things slow down a bit, and one will be disappointed if expecting a classic Arnie action movie. It has more drama and thriller elements, although there are still some great shootouts and an especially bloody finale. But does the mix work?


To a certain extent, the investigative elements and especially showing off the mutilated victims evoke an almost serial killer vibe, although suspenseful moments are rare. This might be due to many flashbacks which at some points in the story play rather nicely with the audience’s expectations, or it has to do with more emotional drama parts mixed with a gungho bro attitude.


Schwarzenegger does a decent job at portraying a broken man who tries to overcome the loss of his family tortured to death, but also as someone who’s determined enough to protect his other “family” and/or find the cartel responsible for these atrocities. It’s only too bad that the rest of the cast is the standard (and often obnoxious) cursing hoodlum gang, and the less-than-suitable-for-the-job police detective isn’t much likeablee either, although it makes for an interesting counterpart to the more violent world of drug wars.


All in all, Sabotage is a good movie with some outstanding action scenes and a suitable ending (although the alternative ones on the disc are also quite interesting to watch). It’s only let down by its almost 2 hours running time and often incongruous genre mix in addition to many unlikeable characters.

Score: 7/10


Buy the BD on
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Buy the DVD on
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Amazon USA

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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6 Responses to Modern action movies: “Sabotage”

  1. garethrhodes says:

    Good review. It’s interesting to get an opposing perspective. With respect, I didn’t like this film at all. I thought it was a scuzzy mess. I like Arnold best when he’s sending things up a bit. Total Recall, Predator, those kind of roles. I felt this was depressing. That said, that’s just my opinion.

    • nufafitc says:

      Thanks for the comment and your opinion. I have to say I was biased as well. Really liked “Total Recall”, “Predator”, “Terminator”, etc. I also had my problems with the character(s) and there were definitely problems with the story. But maybe the depressing mood was what I found most interesting ;). What did you think of “Last Stand”?

      • garethrhodes says:

        You’re welcome, I’m happy to have stumbled across your blog. It’s great to be able to find even minded people to have film discussion with. So many people get ridiculously upset when someone disagrees with them; yet I find the subjectivity of film fascinating. I have yet to see Last Stand, although I have it on my very long list of films I have to see.

      • nufafitc says:

        Great, I totally agree. I usually distance myself from too personal comments, forums or websites (imdb especially) where people can’t seem to have a normal discussion. It also gets ridiculous with games… but I think everything’s subjective, and people generally get upset ;).
        I’ll probably write a review about “Last Stand”, although too many other movies on my list as well. Can’t even keep up with the ones I saw. “The Stand” was more old-school, even with Johnny Knoxville in it.

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