Growing up Arnold Schwarzenegger was a massive part of my life with his films a constant favourite. This hasn't changed as I have grown up and my fanaticism has remained following his hiatus from films while running California. Since Arnold's return to films his output has been a mixed bag.
Cameos in The Expendables films have been entertaining but brief, The Last Stand was an entertaining but ultimately average and poorly marketed action comedy, Escape Plan wasn't released in Australia due to some idiotic decision while this film, Sabotage, was pulled from theatrical release following a disastrous American box office opening weekend. Finally though the film is out on Blu-Ray and we were keen to check it out.
In Sabotage, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Breacher who leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done - until, one-by-one, the ten members mysteriously start to be eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect.
Of course the star of the show is Arnold Schwarzenegger and this is really a great return to form for him. He looks a lot fitter then in previous post-Governor roles, but he also looks and acts like a badass DEA agent in this film. He commands the screen, and yes, while he's getting older, he never looks like Breacher couldn't be a real agent.
So what about the film itself? Well there are certainly some great bits, the action sequences are intense, realistic, frantic and certainly bloody - just how action should be. Editing too deserves a mention - there is one sequence in particular where Breacher is investigating a missing friend, and the house investigation is interwoven with scenes showing what had happened previously. It's hard to explain but great to see.
Where the film loses points is with the plot. There are holes everywhere - $US10 million goes missing but the team had blown up and burnt a remaining pile of cash - so how did the teams superiors know money was missing in the first place? Why was Breacher isolated from his team when they were able to sit around together still? Then there is the ending which, well, without spoiling anything, is a little surprising and a bit of a misfire - still three's a lot worse as seen in the unused alternate endings on the disc!
The disc contains no other audio tracks and only a single English Subtitles for the Hard of Hearing track. We sampled the subtitles at various points throughout the film and not only were they accurate to the dialogue but also colour coded according to who is talking in the scene for ease of following.
There are only a couple of extras on this disc with the large number of deleted scenes being the highlight - hopefully one day we will see an extended cut of the film. Oh, and in the bizarrest move these clips are all presented in 24p frame rate!?
Making Sabotage (8:32/HD): This is a short and pretty run of the mill making of featurette which is intended to sell the film more then anything else. Some decent on-set footage and interviews with a few tidbits of interesting information at least.
Deleted Scenes (14:58/HD): Apparently David Ayer cut around an hour of footage from the final film (possibly at the studio's request as they wanted a more action oriented film) but some of those scenes are provided here, with some quite different material and a new subplot not in the main film surrounding a missing girl.
Review By: Dave Warner