SAB­O­TAGE

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM -

Di­rected by David Ayer. Star­ring Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Wil­liams, Terrence Howard, Mireille Enos, Joe Manganiello, Harold Per­rineau, Martin Dono­van, Max Mar­tini

16 cert, gen­eral re­lease, 109 min We all knew Arnie would be back. But his post-po­lit­i­cal re­turn to the moviev­erse has not been an un­qual­i­fied suc­cess. While his old chum Sly Stal­lone is busy jug­gling a suc­cess­ful ca­reer (Rocky Bal­boa, John Rambo) and a suc­cess­ful meta-ca­reer (The Ex­pend­ables, Grudge Match), the for­mer gover­nor of Cal­i­for­nia has yet to find his Co­p­land or gen­er­ate boffo box of­fice.

It’s not for want of ef­fort. Arnie has made smart ca­reer moves, such as team­ing up with Stal­lone and work­ing with ace Korean di­rec­tor Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sis­ters) on The Last Stand.

Sab­o­tage puts him where one feels he ought to be: at the cen­tre of a David Ayer movie. The writer of Dark Blue and di­rec­tor of Harsh Times is the go-to guy for dark, com­plex tales of crooked cops and male bond­ing. Surely Ayer will find some­thing in­ter­est­ing to do with Aus­trian oak.

Un­hap­pily, there’s not much com­plex­ity to Sab­o­tage. Arnold plays the leader of a rock-’em, sock-’em crack team of DEA agents. They’re tough: they have names like Monster and Neck and Grinder. They’re rough: they op­er­ate above the rules, man. And they may have stolen $10 mil­lion from a drug car­tel. Vi­o­lence en­sues. Fol­lowed by a se­ries of grisly mur­ders. Fol­lowed by var­i­ous shootouts. Fol­lowed by more vi­o­lence.

I vant to kick some ass: Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger in Sab­o­tage

One by one, the team are picked off, leav­ing Arnold and an in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer (Olivia Wil­liams) to piece to­gether a plot that feels less likely than the events de­picted in Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Res­cue.

Ayer’s films are typ­i­cally brawny and brainy, but Sab­o­tage is sel­dom

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