Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sabotage

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! A full length version of the Beastie Boys video of the same name would have probably been better.






Sabotage – 1 out of 5


When I first saw the Red Band trailer for Sabotage, I really didn’t think much of it.  Never, at any point, did I find myself saying, “Fuckin’ A, yes I would like to see that movie very much.”  Possibly due to the presence of Sam Worthington (and if you are a long time reader, you know I think very little of his “acting” but I am thanking the God I don’t believe in that he is no longer the lead man in any big productions anymore; Hollywood has learned its lesson!), I didn’t even really see this one as a “wait till RedBox,” movie either, to be honest.  This movie stood firmly in my “just wait till the day that I walk down the sidewalk and suddenly find myself falling down a flight of stairs and come crashing into a secret club that just so happens to be watching Sabotage and, at first, they are mad at me for destroying their door with my falling girth but then realize I’m good when I make some lame joke like ‘I’m falling for your secret club’ and then we all laugh and they invite me to watch Sabotage and we eat pizza and later solve mysteries.”  However, I noticed that it was written and directed by David Ayer and he wrote Training Day and wrote and directed End of Watch and I really liked those movies so I bumped it up to “Yay, it’s at the budget theater, I’ll go see it.”  Now that I’ve bored you with the reasoning behind watching it, let’s jump to the synopsis.

Imagine the man-funk that is just hovering in that vehicle...it's probably slowly
rusting the metal.
 

DEA agent John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnold “I still have to use Google in order to spell his last name correctly” Schwarzenegger) leads his team of cartoon characters with ridiculous nicknames into a cartel’s place of illegal business.  During the raid, Monster (Sam Worthington), Grinder (Joe Manganiello), Neck (Josh Holloway), Sugar (Terrence Howard), Pyro (Max Martini), Smoke (Mark Schlegel), and Lizzy (who apparently doesn’t deserve a goofy nickname and is played by Mireille Enos), steal and hide 10 million dollars of the cartel’s money that they plan on splitting amongst themselves.  Unfortunately, when they return they find that the money is gone and the team is forced to disband after an investigation is made but turns up nothing.  However, someone remembers the money and is starting to pick the team off one by one.  Homicide detectives Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams) and Jackson (Harold Perrineau) begin to investigate the murders and try to find out who is executing the team and who exactly was responsible for taking the money.

"We need backup...Sam Worthington is somehow in this film..."
 

According to director/writer David Ayer, the film was originally meant to be a mystery/thriller but the studio got involved so much and had so many changes made that it ended up being more action based.  The mystery/thriller can be seen in the film as they are trying to figure out who is killing them off and killing them off in horribly grotesque and violent ways (seriously, this movie has a lot of gore) but, like Ayer has stated, the studio wanted a more action approach and the movie gives that to you…in a completely silly way.

Josh Holloway...the post-Lost career.  Which, apparently, amuses Worthington.
 

Oh, he's a detective.  Without that stupid hat, I never
would have known.
Right as the team starts getting killed off, the film just starts tossing in some really over-the-top gore and violence that, ultimately, felt like it belonged more in the next Final Destination film than in an action/mystery/thriller.  Blood and guts are kinda expected with action films but the violence and gore seems too excessive—like the movie is trying to prove to its other movie siblings that it can be mature and adult but then overdoes it.  By the end of the film and during the big climactic car chase (which itself feels tacked on), the film’s violence and gore becomes way too silly to take seriously and the film looks like a dark humor gag reel.  However, more than anything else, the gore and violence seems to actually be a mask for something else in the film…the completely lack of any likable or entertaining characters.

I think a lot of the un-likability comes from the fact that almost every character has
a neck tattoo...which I didn't bother showing in this still.
 

You can be forgiven that the movie will make you
forget that Terrence Howard is in the film.
Seriously, I think production forgot, too.
Other than all the characters giving stupid nicknames like they are all in a fraternity, the characters pretty much have no real characteristic besides being loud, misogynistic, and trying to act tough because they are all probably suffering from some deeply ingrained self-esteem issues.  However, to call the characters unlikable is only scratching the surface.  These characters are, in fact, obnoxious and annoying as fuck.  Too many scenes involve them all insulting each other, yelling, talking at once, and trying to look like they are all passing around inside jokes that they all find to be the funniest thing in all of existence (and they are not very convincing of that because they are overdoing it majorly...but I'll get to that later).  Of course, that is when you actually get to see the characters.  The DEA team is so large that many are often pushed into the background.  One dies right off the bat and others you quickly forget they are there.  For example, Terrence Howard is in the film but you will quickly forget that fact until the end and often I didn’t even realize that Joe Manganiello was in it until the story decided to finally use him for something other than just yelling and carrying on like awful background noise with the rest of the team.

So...are the cornrows DEA regulation?
 

Then, when they are all jabbering on like a room full of monkeys and Shia LaBeouf clones, Schwarzenegger’s character will tell them to “Shut the fuck up.”  This happens so often (at least 5 times in the first ten minutes of the film) that I started to wonder if it was Arnold’s character of Breacher telling them to quiet the hell down or if Arnold was just breaking character and really telling them to shut the living fuck up on set.

Arnold, shown here giving a metaphor about the film.
 
"Boss, I went boom-boom in my pants."
This plays in the next problem with these character and that is the fact that none of the actors are pulling them off.  Schwarzenegger is actually doing a decent job in his role but the rest of the cast don’t look believable or realistic in their roles—this wasn’t surprising with Sam Worthington, I still have yet to see him actually pull off any character he’s played.  There was no chemistry in the team and all their interactions, meant to look like a team who is closely knit and will squabble like siblings come off as flat and forced.  However, none of them are harder to deal with than Mireille Enos.

Yes, Sam, for once you are not the worst thing in a movie starring you.



Enos is overacting the complete fuck out of her role and it is unbearable.  She is trying so hard to make it look like her character is “one of the guys” that her performances looks hack and more like satire of bad acting than a “tough as nails” female DEA agent that has smashed through the glass ceiling to hang with the “big dogs.”  Her performance is so hollow and so unconvincing that she reminded me of the person you meet who tries to relate to you by saying they’re into all the things you are into but the more you talk to them you realize that they are lying and just claiming to be who they said they just are.  I’m not saying she came off like a poser (a really unbelievable poser) but she looked like that kid who will put on a tie-dye shirt and claim he smokes marijuana but his eyes and voice betray that comment.  Enos seemed to take that obvious lack of believability and added in the insane level of annoyance the other characters brought to their role and then multiplied it by ten.  After ten minutes of watching her, I found myself saying, “I get it, Enos.  You’re the unhinged wild card of the group and you are just as vulgar and crotch-grabbing as the rest of the guys.  Now please, pull it back a little because this is coming off as too silly.”

Yes, overact the fuck out of the movie.  It will help the overall presentation.
 

Maybe if David Ayer’s original vision of a mystery/thriller was realized it would have made Sabotage more watchable, or maybe having a better cast or even just having the cast pull it back a little, or actually have some development to them beyond giving them lame nicknames, or maybe just making even somewhat likable in anyway (the story itself makes them look bad because, at the heart of it, they are corrupt agents) might have made this film better but the end product was too loud, too obnoxious and way too silly to take seriously.  While Arnold is making due and actually giving a solid performance, the rest of the film is just hard to sit through and enjoy.

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