Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Sabotage

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R For strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
Profanity:Very strong and crude language throughout
Nudity/Sex:Very crude sexual references, nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking, drug dealing, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Constant very graphic peril and law enforcement violence with many graphic and disturbing images and sad deaths
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2014
DVD Release Date:July 22, 2014
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R For strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
Profanity: Very strong and crude language throughout
Nudity/Sex: Very crude sexual references, nudity
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking, drug dealing, drug use
Violence/Scariness: Constant very graphic peril and law enforcement violence with many graphic and disturbing images and sad deaths
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2014
DVD Release Date: July 22, 2014

sabotage-movie_poster-261x400“Sabotage” begins with two painful images.  A woman is being horribly tortured.  And Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the man watching it happen on video, is trying to act.

As generic as its title, “Sabotage” wastes no time or effort on such, um, expendables as character, plot, dialog, or making sense.  This is all about gut-wrenching (literally) violence, as in entrails-out corpses and sliding around in pools of blood.  It is often said of middle-grade movies that if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the film.  Not in this case.  If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen a better film than the one playing in theaters.  The trailer makes it look like a story of DEA agents vs. drug cartels.  And it makes it look like a story with a plot.  Ticket buyers might want to contact the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising on both counts.

Advertisement

In Training Day, screenwriter David Ayer had two advantages missing here: galvanizing performance by Oscar-winner Denzel Washington and some emotional heft to the storyline, with Ethan Hawke as the audience’s entry point to the soul-destroying world of combatants in the drug wars.  Since then, the soul-destruction has come more from watching his subsequent films than from the degrading violence-for-the-sake-of-violence stories on screen.

Schwarzenegger is no Denzel Washington.  And this story has no deeper resonance.  Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the leader of a group of badass DEA agents.  They all have tattoos and tough handles like “Pyro” and “Grinder and mad SEAL-level combat skilz.  And after they mow down a houseful of presumed bad guys (sparing the children), they say quippy things like “Cleanup on aisle 3.” (This is one of perhaps a dozen sentences in the film without the f-word.)  And of course they have the kinds of tight bonds you only get from risking death and killing bad guys together, exemplified and reinforced with visits to strip clubs and lots of high-testosteronic insults about people’s mothers and what everyone’s private parts have been doing.  Plus intrusive product placement (apparently) of PBR.  Fun for everyone!

Advertisement

Our merry team of marauders lifts a cool ten million from some bad guys, but then it gets lifted from them.  So now everyone suspects everyone.  As a Justice Department official warns in a typically heavy-handed exchange, trust is like virginity — once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.  Breacher’s bosses don’t trust him.  The drug dealers they stole from and the other drug dealers they’ve busted over the years want them dead.  And, because the gang never got the money, they begin to lose trust in each other.

Advertisement

This gets more volatile and intense as, Ten Little Indians-style, the group starts getting picked off, first the “that guy” actors whose faces look vaguely familiar, and then working up to the bigger stars, one of whom may be behind all of this.  The cop investigating the murders is Caroline (Brit Olivia Williams attempting a Georgia drawl), and her sidekick Jackson (Harold Perrineau, apparently visiting from some other, better movie and a welcome bright spot in this one).  Oh, they’re all quippy, too, but more adept.

There’s a lot of uninspired, mind-numbing, standard-issue bang bang with ludicrous turns — a corpse nailed to a ceiling, a car chase and shootout in a public place with apparently no interest whatsoever by the local police, an experienced law enforcement officer who neglects to bring back-up to a meeting sure to turn lethal, a woman who finds Schwarzenegger enthralling.  He isn’t, and neither is this movie.

Advertisement

Parents should know that this film includes extended and extremely explicit and graphic violence, including rape and torture, with many disturbing images, characters injured and killed, crude and explicit sexual references, nudity, strippers, constant strong and vulgar language, drinking, smoking, drug dealing and drug use, corruption and murder for hire.

Family discussion: How do the experiences of Breacher’s team make them work more effectively together? How do the same experiences divide them?

If you like this, try: “Training Day” and “Internal Affairs”

Previous Posts

Trailer: Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d88APYIGkjk" frameborder="0"] Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in "The Danish Girl," directed by Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"). It is the true story of transgender ...

posted 11:05:10am Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
The end of August is traditionally one of the year's low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse "Straight Outta Compton" lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen ...

posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 1)
Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular ...

posted 3:33:45pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Week: A Walk in the Woods and Learning to Drive
This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha ...

posted 3:15:50pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Wes Craven
We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included "Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street," and "The Hills Have Eyes." My friend Simon Abrams interviewed Craven for ...

posted 10:53:30am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.