SABOTAGE – Review by Susan Granger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John “Breacher” Wharton, veteran leader of a dauntless squad of grubby undercover DEA agents, who discovers, after effectively hiding the 10 million dollars they skimmed off after a massive raid of the “money room” at a Mexican drug cartel safe house, that someone has heisted the cash which was hidden inside a sewer line, leaving a single bullet in its place. During the subsequent official inquiry by the FBI, they’re all suspended from duty. Read on…

By the time Breacher re-assembles the eccentric group after the lengthy layoff, they have grown suspicious and resentful of one another. There’s Joe “Grinder” Phillips (Joe Manganiello), Eddie “Neck” Jordan (Josh Holloway), Julius “Sugar” Edmonds (Terrence Howard), Tom “Pyro” Roberts (Max Martini), Bruce “Tripod” McNeely (Kevin Vance), along with impulsive, substance-abusing Lizzy (Mireille Enos) and James “Monster” Murray (Sam Worthington), her similarly addicted husband. Chomping on a massive cigar, resolute Breacher gives his crew a pep talk, vowing vengeance. Then, one-by-one, they start suffering violent fatal ‘accidents’. One is killed after his motor home – with him inside – is parked on a Georgia railroad line and demolished by a train – another is nailed to the kitchen ceiling in a crucifixion pose. Meanwhile, brooding Breacher, who is coping with a guilty memory from his own brutal past, gets close to skeptical Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams), an Atlanta homicide investigator.

Confusingly, yet predictably co-scripted by Skip Woods (Swordfish) and director David Ayers (End of Watch), who say they were inspired by Agatha Christie’s classic mystery And Then There Were None, it’s ghastly and gruesome, eschewing logic and reason, concentrating, instead, on repellent details of extreme violence and dismemberment. Action scenes are abundantly grisly and gory, as bloated corpses are poked and prodded, eliciting protruding viscera.

Indeed, the entire deceitful concept is so repugnant that competent actors like Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard and Sam Worthington should seriously consider changing agents.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Sabotage is a flimsy, testosterone-fueled 4, destined to become a muddled stop on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mucho-macho comeback tour.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.