Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sabotage - Review

A DEA undercover assault team barges through a drug lord's mansion and funnels out $10 million in cartel cash. When it comes time to pick up the loose change, the team finds out that someone else has taken it off their hands. After sitting through several months of questioning by their superiors, the band is brought back together, only to then find themselves being picked off one by one by a mysterious assailant. SABOTAGE is brought to us by director David Ayer and his co-writer Skip Woods; both are infamous figures in the action genre but only one of them is actually talented in his work and capable of crafting a pitch black, twisted cop thriller. Surprise to no one, it's not Skippy, who here has spun a confusingly stupid tale of disturbing backstories and quadruple-crosses. The jacked-up nimrods spend so much time circle-jerking that it takes until Act Three for them to remember about the money mystery and begin to think that one of their own is the perpetrator. Even when the riddle is solved, the final reveal is incredibly flaccid and the film oddly continues to linger on with a pointless bar shootout. Thankfully, Ayer was present to salvage what he could from Skippy's crayon drawings and inject a good dose of vicious wit. Soaked throughout in blood, Ayer gives the movie's harsh violence a humorously perverted twist so the viewer can breathe a little yet still relish the excitement. He also implements several little sidebars where the characters have a conversational break, in order to show off his crude wordplay and show why we should care for the players. But my favorite inclusions by him are the female personalities present in forefront, i.e. Olivia Williams and Mireille Enos. Both actresses are given great figures that subscribe to the notion of work hard, play hard: Williams enjoys cutting through the bullshit in order to stop the body-piling while Enos goes to dark depths as a drug-fueled livewire. The strong female focus of the picture also grants us the rare opportunity of seeing a gender-swapped version of a certain plot device Gail Simone is famously known for decrying. All of this helps make SABOTAGE a good, not stellar follow-up to END OF WATCH. Now, if you do think I'm incorrect in saying that Skip Woods is the one truly to blame for the film's faults, I respond with a simple gesture: Go out and watch the Ayer-scripted movies that have prominent female characters, than watch Skippy's. No further questions?


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