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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Susan Granger's review of 'Sabotage'

Published 11:55 am, Saturday, April 12, 2014
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Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, veteran leader of a dauntless squad of grubby undercover DEA agents, who discovers, after effectively hiding the $10 million they skimmed off after a massive raid of the "money room" at a Mexican drug cartel safe house, that someone has heisted the cash, which was hidden inside a sewer line, leaving a single bullet in its place. During the subsequent official inquiry by the FBI, they're all suspended from duty.

By the time Breacher reassembles the eccentric group after the lengthy layoff, they have grown suspicious and resentful of one another. There's Joe "Grinder" Phillips (Joe Manganiello), Eddie "Neck" Jordan (Josh Holloway), Julius "Sugar" Edmonds (Terrence Howard), Tom "Pyro" Roberts (Max Martini), Bruce "Tripod" McNeely (Kevin Vance), along with impulsive, substance-abusing Lizzy (Mireille Enos) and James "Monster" Murray (Sam Worthington), her similarly addicted husband.

Chomping on a massive ci-gar, resolute Breacher gives his crew a pep talk, vowing vengeance.

Then, one-by-one, they start suffering violent fatal "accidents." One is killed after his motor home -- with him inside -- is parked on a Georgia railroad line and demolished by a train; another is nailed to the kitchen ceiling in a crucifixion pose.

Meanwhile, brooding Breacher, who is coping with a guilty memory from his own brutal past, gets close to skeptical Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams), an Atlanta homicide investigator.

Confusingly, yet predictably co-scripted by Skip Woods ("Swordfish") and director David Ayers ("End of Watch"), who say they were inspired by Agatha Christie's classic mystery "And Then There Were None," it's ghastly and gruesome, eschewing logic and reason, concentrating instead on repellent details of extreme violence and dismemberment.

Action scenes are abundantly grisly and gory, as bloated corpses are poked and prodd-

ed, eliciting protruding vis-

cera.

Indeed, the entire deceitful concept is so repugnant that competent actors like Williams, Howard and Worthington should seriously consider changing agents.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Sabotage" is a flimsy, testosterone-

fueled 4, destined to be-

come a muddled stop on Schwarzenegger's mucho

macho comeback tour.