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David Ayer
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Williams, Sam Worthington
Writing Credits:
Skip Woods and David Ayer

Leave No Loose Ends

When DEA task force leader Breacher Wharton (Schwarzenegger) storms a heavily armed cartel safe house, rogue members of his team use it as a cover to steal $10 million in cash. But just when they think their secret is safe, agents are killed off one-by-one, and everyone is a suspect, including the squad itself.

Box Office:
$35 million
Opening Weekend
$5,272,444 on 2,486 Screens
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 7/22/2014

• Eight Deleted Scenes
• Two Alternate Endings
• “Making Sabotage” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Sabotage [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 6, 2014)

As he nears the age of 70, is it fair to wonder if Arnold Schwarzenegger is done as a legit movie star? I suspect so, given his recent box office results. Between 2003 and 2011, Schwarzenegger made few cinematic appearances due to his job as the governor of California. Since he left office, all three movies in which he took the lead bombed in the US.

For his latest box office dud, we go to 2014’s Sabotage. DEA Agent John “Breacher” Wharton (Schwarzenegger) leads a team on an assault of a heavily guarded drug cartel “safe house”. Rather than just do their job, though, Breacher and crew use this as an opportunity to steal $10 million. We follow the aftermath of this heist and its ramifications as various members of the team start to be killed one by one.

If nothing else, Sabotage casts Schwarzenegger in a different light, as we don’t expect to see him as a thief. Sure, he steals from scumbags, but the Breacher character still becomes a change of pace from Arnie’s usual “good guy” roles. We don’t usually see him as such a morally ambiguous personality.

Alas, Schwarzenegger fails to rise to the challenge and he doesn’t fit the part. For one, he never convinces as the leader of a rag-tag group of agents. Breacher’s team comes across like loose cannon biker sorts, while Breacher himself remains conservative and buttoned-down; the two don’t mesh and it feels tough to accept that Breacher would connect with these folks.

In addition, Schwarzenegger still can’t act. He never displayed much in the way of dramatic talent in the past, and that situation hasn’t changed over the last decade or so. Schwarzenegger seems stuck in his 80s action hero heyday and hasn’t demonstrated the ability to adapt with changing times and genres; he’s a poor match for this sort of hard-edged thriller.

Others do better, at least, and Olivia Williams proves surprisingly effective as the no-nonsense FBI agent who investigates the deaths of Breacher’s colleagues. When the movie focuses on her, it does fairly well, as it turns into a reasonable crime drama with intriguing elements.

Unfortunately, Sabotage wanders too much and spends too much time with Breacher and company. Actually, Breacher himself is my only real complaint due to the aforementioned lack of connection between Schwarzenegger and the others; if we got the renegade DEA agents sans Breacher, they’d be more impressive.

I appreciate Schwarzenegger’s attempts to branch out, and Sabotage becomes an intriguing stretch for him. However, the lead actor can’t broaden his horizons well enough to fit into the film’s universe and his presence actively harms the film. Sabotage comes with some solid sequences and occasional glimmers of promise, but it can’t overcome the flaws Schwarzenegger brings to it.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Sabotage appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a consistently positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. Interiors occasionally displayed light softness, but those instances remained modest. The majority of the movie seemed concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and edge enhancement didn’t affect the movie. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.

In terms of colors, Sabotage opted for a stylized palette. It usually went with a yellow feel or a blue tone, and these elements tended to be restrained. This meant the hues were subdued but fine given the stylistic choices. Blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity. Overall, the film came across well.

Despite the occasional action scene, this was a fairly subdued DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. The soundscape tended toward environmental information, though occasional exceptions occurred. A train crash used the spectrum so well that I thought the whistles came from outside my house, and other gun-based scenes offered positive involvement. We didn’t get a ton of sequences of this sort, but they added life to the track at times.

Audio quality pleased. Speech consistently sounded distinctive and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared full and dynamic, while effects came across as accurate and clear. The mix only occasionally kicked into high gear but it seemed suitable for the story.

Only a handful of extras show up here. Making Sabotage lasts eight minutes, 32 seconds and features director David Ayer, and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Josh Holloway, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Mireille Enos, and Joe Mangianello. We learn about story and characters, cast and performances, realism, training and what Ayer brought to the production, locations, and related elements. The program offers a passable overview but lacks much depth.

Next we find two Alternate Endings (11:03) and eight Deleted Scenes (17:13). The “Alternate Endings” focus on a closing confrontation between Breacher and Caroline; they differ only in terms of who survives the encounter. These take a more traditional path than the movie’s actual finale and might work better, honestly.

As for the deleted scenes, these cover a few different topics. We see a lot of Caroline and Jackson as they deal with a case that involves a missing child; these seem interesting but tangential to the main narrative.

Other sequences tend to simply add to existing segments, though a few come across as a bit meatier than that. In particular, we get more of Caroline’s investigation of Breacher. None of these appear especially impactful but they have their moments.

The disc opens with ads for The Green Inferno, The Fluffy Movie, A Haunted House 2, Chef and Bad Words. The Previews area also offers promos for End of Watch, Side Effects, Silent House, The Grey, Killer Elite and Hit & Run. No trailer for Sabotage appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Sabotage. It includes the deleted scenes and the featurette but drops the alternate endings.

Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to alter his image in Sabotage but it doesn’t work. While the movie comes with some good moments, the miscast Schwarzenegger tends to subvert the story. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. With a different lead actor, Sabotage might’ve worked, but as it stands, the film flails.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.1875 Stars Number of Votes: 16
11 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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