Sabotage Blu-ray Review
Since he’s vacated the Governor’s office, Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned to the big screen counting on the same formula that worked for him before he took office to work again now that he’s out. And so far, he’s been pretty hit or miss. And while SABOTAGE doesn’t fall squarely on either side of that “or,” it’s more on the plus side.
John “Breacher” Wharton (Schwarzenegger) is the head of an elite DEA team whose main objective is to infiltrate and stop the deadly drug cartels of Mexico. While his job keeps him busy, John spends much of his free time watching a haunting video which shows his wife being tortured. Haunted by her screams he does his job. But there is much more going on. And when members of John’s team begin turning up dead, in the most horrific ways, he teams up with a local cop (Olivia Williams) to find answers.
A fairly good thriller with a lot more bloodshed than most Arnold fans will be used to, SABATOGE allows the star to flex his acting chops as well as his muscles. He is surrounded by a fine supporting cast, including Worthington, Joe Manganielio and Terrence Howard. As the plot thickens and it’s revealed that Breacher’s team has been suspected of stealing money from one of the cartel busts, the team members begin to doubt each other, going from a strong, cohesive unit to an “every man for themselves” mentality. As more and more is revealed, the stakes get higher, until a final showdown reveals the truth.
Schwarzenegger is well cast as a man who has been beaten down by the cards life has dealt him yet continues to go on. As his Atlanta P.D. counterpart, Williams manages to be both tough and vulnerable. Worthington and Manganielio have just enough “crazy” in their eyes to give their performances believability. Like Navy Seals and firemen, when the job ends and the day is yours, you need to unwind a little more dramatically than the average nine-to-five businessman.
Director and co-screenwriter David Ayer (with Skip Woods) has crafted a story that manages to keep the viewer at least one step behind the action on screen. When the final reveal comes, it’s one of those “of course, why didn’t I see that moments” that sometimes occur in a good thriller. He is helped out by his cast and some amazing special effects. As mentioned above, the body count is high and fairly graphic and not a drop of blood is unaccounted for on screen. Special mention should also go to film editor Dody Dorn and composer David Sardy, whose work help to keep the suspense level high. Director of Photography Bruce McCleery’s cameras manage to capture both the bright lights of Atlanta as well as the rural landscape, giving the film an appealing palate.
As Schwarzenegger fans ready themselves for the next installment in the TERMINATOR series they should find this film enjoyable enough to keep them entertained until it opens. They could do much worse.
SABOTAGE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Presented in its original 1:85.1 aspect ratio, the film is sharp and bright. The dark colors worn by a majority of the cast are vivid and not muted.
Audio: Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the film is LOUD. Clear but LOUD. I would recommend having the remote close by when the shoot-outs begin.
Alternate Endings: There are two alternate endings included. Either one of them would have crippled this film.
Deleted Scenes (17:34): Eight scenes, ranging from under a minute to seven minutes, that don’t add or detract from the film.
Making “Sabatoge” (8:32): A standard behind the scenes featurette.