If I f-ing write this f-ing review with as many f words as you’ll hear in f-ing Sabotage, you’ll have a pretty good f-ing idea how f-ing ridiculous it f-ing is. This comes from a certified swearer, who not only kisses her mother with that mouth, but frequently swears like a sailor right in front of her mother. Except you can really only pull that kind of thing off when there’s actually some reason to unleash a torrent of filth. Sabotage is like a teenager looking for street cred by running off his/her potty mouth, but the potty isn’t limited to language. The whole movie is a cesspool that drowns what could have been a clever story.
Sabotage begins with DEA task force leader Breacher (Arnold Schwarzenegger) mistily watching hostage video of a woman we can only assume is his wife…or his special lady friend…or some stranger he met through work. This develops his character, as does his constant cigar-smoking and a penchant for coloring the top half of his hair while the lower portion blatantly screams his age. He heads a team of foul-mouthed agents who hurl insults and exchange shoulder punches in the bro-iest way imaginable. The first mission we see finds them taking down a drug cartel, but this time there’s a twist: Agent Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos) knows where the bad guys keep their money. All they have to do is sneak some of it out, blow up the rest, and BOOM! they’re rich. Of course they sneak it out through a toilet, which is bizarrely encrusted with crap and inspires the line, “Who sticks their toilet paper on the outside of the toilet?” NO ONE! Not even freaks who run drug cartels! It feels like one more ploy to show how badass these agents are and how they really have to roll up their sleeves to slog through the filth they encounter (basically one more sad attempt to be crass).
Mysteriously, the money is missing by the time the team gets down into the sewer to retrieve it. Worse yet, their superiors totally know that ten million dollars are missing. After six months under investigation, everyone is jaded and relationships are becoming contentious. Somebody screwed them all over, but who? “Trust is gone,” one dude tells Breacher. I’d like to tell you who makes this profound confession, but somehow there are about four guys who are essentially interchangeable, making it difficult to track characters. When the team is finally put back into the field, everything is off kilter. Though they’re still hot on the trail of really bad guys, most of their troubles stem from within. A supervising agent (Olivia Williams) is brought in, but that doesn’t stop characters from dying – one after the other. Who is killing them? What is going on? What is with this drug cartel? Who cares?!
What follows is roughly another hour of high-paced action punctuated by unlikable characters using the f-word. Pussy and dick are also popular topics. At no point do we get to know the characters as three-dimensional people, and their definable traits do nothing to make them sympathetic. Though the twist ending should be satisfying, there is no emotional payoff. No one in the movie seems to have any feelings, so it makes sense that the whole affair would leave viewers unmoved.