Arnold Schwarzenegger seems content to pick up his acting career exactly where he left off. Problem is, audiences and action films have grown. His niche of violent fare of good vs. evil has been a totally different market after “300.” His first lead role following his political career blended elements of Westerns into modern day crime. Following on the heels of their budding Expendable franchise, he joined Stallone for a prison break. Though neither film reached the heights his name used to garner in his heyday, they still managed to be enjoyable throwbacks. His latest role seems to keep him grounded in modern-day thriller territory in “Sabotage.”
Arnold plays Breacher, leader of a special ops team working for the DEA. When the team comes across $10 million in drug money, it goes missing. The plan was to split the score amongst the team, but the money went missing. What’s worse, members of the team are being killed in what could be a retaliation for the money. As the investigation into the deaths of their teammates exposes more of the secrets they share, an agent (Olivia Williams) finds herself pulled into the conspiracy.
Despite being billed as an action film, the action is few and far between. The story is more focused on keeping the mystery of the teammates as vague as possible. It points fingers in too many directions that when the third act starts answering questions they feel like cheap results. Regardless of the plot, seeing Arnold and the supporting cast chew on the scenery is a treat. Some play against type, while others step closer to pigeonholed.
As a film from David Ayer, who seems to only haves films that have law enforcement prominently featured, it slides right into the middle of a ranking of his films. As an Arnold movie, however, the story seems to stall more than it connects. Of his three major releases following politics, this is easily the weakest. Let’s hope rebooting his old franchises (“Terminator” and “Conan”) gives him the boost Stallone got when he did the same. They might not hit as hard as they used to, but letting Stallone and Arnold leave the big screen will be hard. 2 out of 5 stars.
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