The last two films in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback tour have provided schlocky but enjoyable titillation, with The Last Stand edging out Escape Plan as the better of the two. Directed by David Ayer, Sabotage (2014) has loftier ambitions, but despite some solid work from its leading man the film is tripped up by its messily executed plot.
Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s novel Ten Little Indians (yes, really), Schwarzenegger stars as John ‘Breacher’ Wharton, leader of an elite team of DEA agents looking to swindle $10 million from a cartel. What initially looks to be a successful heist proves anything but; the stolen loot goes missing, and the team fall under heavy scrutiny from their superiors. A lack of evidence means the investigation is soon dropped, but one by one the team are soon picked off by unknown assassins.
A cursory glance at David Ayer’s filmography will reveal his propensity for cop dramas, with his previous work including such titles as 2001’s Training Day (for which he wrote the screenplay) and 2008’s Street Kings. He’s back on the beat again for his latest flick, End of Watch (2012), a gritty action-thriller set in Los Angeles which owes much to two exceptional central performances. Our protagonists this time around are Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), partners and best buds who are duty-bound protect and serve the citizens of the ‘City of Angels’.
Read the rest of this review at CineVue here.