Thursday, August 21, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Sabotage (2014) **½

R, 109 min.
Director: David Ayers
Writers: Skip Woods, David Ayers
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Williams, Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway, Max Martini, Kevin Vance, Harold Perrineau

I loved David Ayers’ last film, “End of Watch”. I was excited to see what he could do with an aging Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Sabotage” isn’t your average testosterone-driven action or heist movie, but it doesn’t quite work either.

The movie tells the story of a DEA undercover team that decides to steal ten million dollars from one of their busts. The deal goes wrong, however, and the money is stolen from them before they get back to it. They must endure months of grilling from their internal affairs with no reward in the end. After they’re cleared of the theft charges, someone starts killing off the team.

The biggest problem with the movie is that nobody ever really seems all that concerned or even curious about who took the money. Olivia Williams plays a San Diego detective trying to solve the murders, but never does anybody even mention trying to find the money. Once one of the team members says something about having nothing to show for their trouble, but this sentiment is just brushed away with the line “Let it go,” and nothing about revenge over the money or finding who took the money is ever mentioned again.

The final action sequence leaves some similar questions lingering in the air, such as is the San Diego police department just going to let what happened stand? Should someone be arrested? Shouldn’t a manhunt be mounted? It’s pretty easy to figure what one of the bad guys is going to do at this point. His motivations should be obvious to anyone on the case. I think the screenwriters let themselves off pretty easy in terms of dropping everyone else’s storyline here. Still, it’s well directed and well acted, especially Williams, whose performance is like no other role I’ve seen her in.

Wow, does this trailer misrepresent the details of this plot.

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