Not many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies could be considered overlooked. Since bursting onto the Hollywood scene in the early ‘70s, Schwarzenegger has made a big name for himself starring in many memorable films while creating many memorable characters. One film, though, could be considered overlooked and it has just found itself on the super streamer Netflix.
Sabotage is a 2014 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that is, like many of his earlier films, 100% macho. Now that doesn’t mean there are no females in the film, it just means even the ladies involved have the ability to go toe-to-toe with the roughest of men.
Sabotage follows Arnold Schwarzenegger’s John “Breacher” Wharton, the leader of a DEA Special Ops unit. The unit is carrying out a raid on a drug cartel when they come across $10 million. Instead of turning it in, the crew decides they will take the money for themselves.
The names of Breacher’s DEA Special Ops team are just as macho as his like one would expect. There is “Monster”, played by Sam Worthington, “Grinder” is given to Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway is “Neck”, and Terrance Howard is “Sugar”. “Tripod” and “Pyro” round out Breacher’s crew. Also, part of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led crew and a big part of the action is Monster’s wife Lizzy.
The team is now under investigation for the missing millions but after a period of time and no evidence to implicate them, Breacher’s team is back in action. This is also the point where his team begins to lose their lives, one by one, in horrific fashion. Pyro is killed when he wakes up on the train tracks. Neck is found nailed to his ceiling and disemboweled. Detective Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams) and partner Darius Jackson (Harold Perrineau) recognize the killings as cartel-related.
As Brentwood and Jackson continue to investigate the murders, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Breacher falls under their suspicion. This leads Monster to relay Breacher’s story, one that tells of his family being kidnapped by the cartels and one that had the cartels videotape the murder of his family along with their body parts being sent to him.
Breacher’s team members continue to get picked off one by one. As the pieces begin to come together, it is clear that the cartels are not taking out Breacher’s team. Who could be eliminating Breacher’s team and for what reason? There look to be $10 million reasons why, but could there be more to it? There is.
Even with all the star power and being led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sabotage did not fare well at the box office. The script was written by Skip Woods and David Ayer, who also directed the film, but it did not sit well critically or with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fans. Ayer’s budget was in the $35 million range but somehow the movie on brought in a little over $22 million at the box office. When it premiered, Sabotage brought in only $5.3 million which represented Arnold Schwarzenegger’s worst film opening in 30 years.
Not all critics found Sabotage a mess. Jim Vejvoda of IGN compared the film to Agatha Christie’s classic novel And Then There Were None, with the film’s characters being killed one-by-one. He also felt it is Schwarzenegger’s best movie in years. “Sabotage is far more effective than its action-centric trailers have suggested, with the film more a mystery-thriller that actually offers Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cool ensemble a chance to act and not just shoot guns.”
When Arnold Schwarzenegger brought Sabotage to the big screen, he was coming off a string of hits that included The Expendables 2, The Last Stand, and Escape Plan, a movie which saw him team up with Sylvester Stallone. So, Sabotage tanking at the box office was very unexpected. Schwarzenegger made up for the movie’s poor performance by returning for the third Expendables movie, another one which he co-starred with Stallone.
Throughout his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger has embodied the macho film star. From his debut as Hercules to his other big roles as Conan the Barbarian, the Terminator, Dutch in Predator, Quaid in Total Recall, and so many others, Schwarzenegger is one of the biggest names to ever grace the action-adventure genre.
In 2019, Schwarzenegger returned to his Terminator roots starring in Terminator: Dark Fate. He looks to return to his past one more time as up next for the aging action star is Triplets, the sequel to his 1988 hit Twins. Danny DeVito will also once again return to his role as Arnie’s brother but this time they will be joined by Eddie Murphy, who turns out to be another brother. There is also a rumor that Arnold will lace up his sandals and grab his sword again as Conan in The Legend of Conan.
Sabotage is not as bad as critics would have you believe. Check it out on Netflix and let us know what you think.