Certificate 15, 109 minutes
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard
Sabotage opens with John "Breacher" Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape Plan, The Expendables 2, The Expendables 3) watching a video of a woman being tortured (and probably murdered, although this is not confirmed). The woman seems to matter to him in some way, although the full story is not disclosed until much later in the film. Eight months after that and Breacher is leading his team in an attack on an house belonging to a drug cartel. Breacher is head of a group of Drug Enforcement Agency personnel known as the Special Operations Team (SOT). This team specialises in undercover work, and consequently are unconventional at best and seriously out of control at worst.
The SOT is raiding the house to destroy a cash stockpile being held there, but have planned to take a chunk of it for themselves first - a $10 million dollar chunk. One of the team dies, but the money is successfully hidden until later; only, when they return to get it, someone has apparently beaten them to it because it's missing.
Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sabotage_%282014_film_poster%29.jpgTheir superiors in the DEA, thanks to information from the FBI who knew how much money was there, know that the cash pile was $10 million short and so, for the next six months, the team members are questioned, taken off active duty, and followed around by other agents, until finally, with no proof, the case is closed and they are reinstated. Apart from the missing money, they appear to have got off scot free. Then one of the team, Pyro (Max Martini), is killed when his Winnebago is hit by a train after he presumably parked across the train lines whilst drunk. Investigator Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams) considers this to be an accident, but when another team member, Neck (Josh Holloway) is also found dead under circumstances that are very definitely not accidental, it looks like the cartel hasn't forgotten about their money and is making a point. With the money gone and friends dying, the team starts to fall apart as they don't know who they can trust - and that includes their surviving teammates.
This is not a simple good guys and bad guys film. No-one is truly a good guy; at best, the SOT members are morally ambiguous, and probably not much different from the people they hunt at worst, as the nature of their work has likely affected them. This is also a very violent film, with a lot of bloody action and gore that is sometimes rather unpleasant. Schwarzenegger does not play a straight out hero, or even a villain, but someone who is much more grey. There are motives and things that are not revealed until late on in the film, which does admittedly keep you guessing. The film was apparently heavily cut before its release, as it was apparently originally intended to be more of a thriller than the violent action film it ended up as, and it does not look like this benefitted it in any way. As an interesting aside, there's a poster for the film Rambo seen at one point in the film. Sabotage is a bloody, violent film about people who in many ways are just as bad as the criminals they hunt.
Certificate 15, 109 minutes
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- "Sabotage (2014) Trivia." IMDb. 9/05/2014