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MOVIE REVIEW: Arnold Hunts Down Drug Dealers And a Possible Oscar Nomination

by David Manning, Jr.

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“Sabotage” ✮✮✮✮✮

Spoiler alert: This movie is fantastic! “Sabotage” was the most fun I’ve had at a movie theater in years. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a career-defining performance, plays John “Breacher” Wharton, leader of the elite unit of the DEA, responsible for hunting down the most dangerous drug dealers on the planet. Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians,” only much, much better, Schwarzenegger and his team steal $10 million during a drug bust only to have an unknown killer methodically murder them one by one.

Written by screenwriter Skip Woods and the film’s director David Ayer, “Sabotage” drastically improves on Christie’s classic work with creative choices that never miss their mark. “Sabotage” will keep you guessing until the very end with a shocking twist that puts “The Usual Suspects” to shame! I recommend seeing “Sabotage” at least twice, in order to fully understand all the of film’s intricate plot twists. But I’m guessing you’ll want to see it again, because “Sabotage” is that good.

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Ayer, the auteur behind “Harsh Times” and “End of Watch,” continues to prove why he’s his generation’s Sam Peckinpah, combining hard hitting social commentary with violent shootouts that never feel excessive.

But the real story of “Sabotage” is Schwarzenegger! I predict “Sabotage” will do exactly for his career what “Taken” did for Liam Neeson. Schwarzenegger taps into levels of vulnerability and regret with his portrayal of Breacher that few actors are able to do. The sexual tension between Schwarzenegger and co-star Olivia Williams is electric, reaching heights of intimacy that at times, makes you as an audience member feel like a voyeur.

Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Joe Mantangello, Josh Holloway and Mireille Enos comprise an ensemble that rivals the one in “Monuments Men.” Enos should be arrested for stealing every scene she’s in and Worthington’s performance instantly reminds you about why the world fell in love with him during the making of “Avatar.”

The film’s score by David Sardy is hauntingly good and the production design by Devorah Herbert is top notch.