As expected, Sabotage didn't strike a chord with the critics
Arnold Schwarzenegger has become a comedy item in the world of cinema; a pastiche trophy wheeled out next to similar fallen legends for fiscal purposes and fiscal purposes alone. But this isn’t right; Arnie should be considered a staple of the Hollywood legends club for bringing to life some truly memorable characters, without, it would seem, an iota of genuine acting nous.
Arnie in Sabotage
His latest film, ‘Sabotage’, sees the Austrian lead an experience DEA task force into another routine mission: clearing a cartel house and leaving no stone unturned. With the raid complete, the crew think they’ve completed another high-stakes job, but when team members start to disappear, it’s clear the job isn’t quite finished. Soon enough, everyone becomes a suspect.
Unsurprisingly, the critics have thrown ‘Sabotage’ on the pile of ‘bad Arnie films’, which, by now, has grown bigger than the ‘good Arnie films’ pile. The ever-trusty bellwether for quality, Rotten Tomatoes, has the action flick pegged at a paltry 17%.
“There's nothing about Sabotage that's even remotely surprising, except perhaps for the fact that a film with such a cool premise and awesome cast could be this boring,” writes Jason Zingale for Bullz-Eye.com. “The acting's fine in this thing; the acting's rarely the reason a violent action movie succeeds or fails,” wrote The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips, who, by the way, thinks it very much fails.
But while no one expected a modern Arnie film to be anything but spurious - a stab at the action genre with scant regard for what has come before it – the sheer amount of stinkers coming out of the 66-year-old’s locker is becoming a worry. When, exactly, did he last do something that was critically acclaimed?
Well, you have to go back 23 years to 1991 to find that. Terminator 2: Judgement Day was the film. It accrued an impressive score of 92% from 50 reviews, placing it firmly in the ‘fresh’ category, and further enforcing the role of The Terminator as Arnie’s finest contribution to the sci-fi genre. Three years later, would-be cult hit True Lies hit town, and the rest is history. If only that history contained more classics and less duds, huh?