I saw "SABOTAGE" last night. I'm going to say right now that I very much loved the film. It satisfied my particular tastes in film, given that I like David Ayer's body of work. The film opens up with Breacher's (Arnie) team moving in on a cartel mansion. They seize the building, taking out lots of baddies, and find the stash of money. The team takes out ten million for themselves and stash it before the mission is over. Then the film jumps into "live" recordings of each member's interrogations. In the meantime, we are also introduced to a pair of cops who are investigating a racist couple's missing daughter. Breacher's team waits on suspension as the DEA investigates their mission. They get put on active duty and go out to celebrate. Shortly after is the when the team starts getting murdered, one by one. At this point, the cops who were investigating the missing girl get assigned the case and start to unravel all the clues. And throughout the film, we are shown more of the team's interrogation scenes. For spoiler purposes, I will not reveal any more of the story as it would give away key points in the plot.
As for the review side of things. First off, when David Ayer said he was going to paint Arnie in a different light - he very much did so! About half way in, I completely forgot I was watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Mind you, the film is really an ensemble as Breacher isn't always in full light, and is presented as a scarred man with a legendary past. At times, you are reminded it's Arnie as the other characters speak very highly of him. We are even treated to some picture framed photos of Arnie's real life in the political light (pictures with the presidents and such). We even get a gym scene of Arnie working out.
Anyways, back to the story. This film completely made me forgive what Last Stand tried to be. Arnie seems to be back on a great "acting" track and he felt more natural, despite the fact that he will always be the "Oak". This is the "realest" film Arnie has ever done. It has an indie feel to it with lots of handheld cam shots going on. And while the action is present, the film is more of a crime drama that focuses on the mystery/thriller aspect. But don't be disappointed because the violence is VERY MUCH gruesome and the gore level is intense during the crime scenes. The dialogue was very well written, the characters all felt true and realistic. They weren't all "model"-esque, with many having crazy facial hair, old appearances, and looking like everyday people. In my opinion, the film was more realistic in a sense than Street Kings and Training Day, especially in terms of cinematography and the way the story unfolded. It definitely held my attention all the way through, and the fact that anyone could have been killed kept me emotionally invested. Lastly, I will say that I absolutely loved the ending in terms of Arnie's character development. It was intense, moving, and different.
Overall, I'd give the film a solid A. My only gripes were that Arnie's team didn't really get to shine as a whole. We are given two party scenes that really show their chemistry well and makes us want a whole lot more. Instead, the film focused on the two cops investigating Arnie's team, bringing the team more in and out of the story. But I'm sure it was to keep us from guessing all the answers. Another problem I had was the female member of the team. I didn't care too much for the actress and I feel like they should have gotten someone with a little more depth and a lot less cliche. None the less, Arnie has a good film on his hand and I'll go on record saying this is his most "MATURE" film approach in his entire career. He proves again that he knows the film business and how to adapt perfectly to what works these days. He's not afraid to share the spotlight, and most importantly he is not afraid to pick his directors well and let's them do what they do best.
He went on to answer a few questions about the movie:
Q: "Thank you! do you remember the duration?"
A: Felt like 2 hours.
Q: "do we get to see Arnold fight? and with gun fights, is he very tactical?
lastly, does he has a great badass slow motion like hero shot or scene? "
A: Arnold does have a hand-to-hand fight at the end. Everything else is by the book tactically proficient. No guns blazing. This movie felt like they did their homework in terms of how firearms are shot, how formations are made, etc.
Q: "Does Arnold have longer screen time than in TLS?
Did he show his muscles? Was his appearance (haircut) menacing?
Is the movie more similar to End of Watch or Traning day in style?"
A: Yes, Arnie has longer screen time than in TLS. He is much more of a force than in TLS as well. Yes, he shows his mucles (shirt on) when they show him training/lifting weights at the gym. His appearance/haircut fits the character. He is a veteran-legend-seen it all "DEA god" as referred to in the film. The film is similar to End of Watch and Training Day in style but in terms of cinematography, it's a combination of both.
Q: how do u compare this film with the ESCAPE PLAN?
A: I haven't seen Escape Plan. I gave those tickets to SlyGuy & SonnyCrockett.
Q: how do you compare this film with End of Watch? What's better?
A: Gyllenhaal & Pena had a much more down to earth and relatable chemistry in EOW. But this film had a better story, better cinematography, and better cast.
1) Is this a commercial film that film find an audience or will it be a nitch movie type?
A: It feels like an indie film combined with a commercial film. Like Training Day mixed with End of Watch.
2) Was the title Sabotage when it started or Ten?
A: It was titled SABOTAGE at the end but the questionnaire asked us if we liked that title. I said NO.
3) Does Arnold do any stunts?
A: No massive stunts in terms of believability. But stunts that felt true to the character. Fighting, gunplay, car chase.
4) Was the screening packed and did the audience seem to like the film?
A: They were very receptive. Even the parts where Arnie's "funny" persona appeared, the audience laughed.
5) Does Arnold's new look come off awesome in motion?
A: I liked his new look. Allowed me to get lost in the story of the film. He smokes a lot of cigars in this as well.
6)Thanks for the answers :) Does the film have more action than TLS?
A:Yes, more action. More realistic and violent too. But not in the exploding heads kinda way. Just brutal nature.
"In the film, Van Damme plays Storm Rothschild a survival expert who is hired by Mr. Crawford, (Dennis Haysbert), the head of a design company that has lost its leadership. As long back, Crawford sent to all graphic artists to a survival training with Rothschild, who is not what it claims to be and so begin the tangles."
A new fan made poster for The Escape Plan was submitted as well although I don't have a source for the creator.