"Sabotage" is an appropriate title for the new
A hyperviolent tale from complicated-cop chronicler David Ayer ("Training Day,"
The two templates often make for a chaotic mismatch, however, with hackneyed trash-talking humor resting uneasily alongside the unrelentingly grim (Arnold's character's cartel-tortured family), while the handheld camera grittiness feels ill-conceived for a thin, obvious whodunit filled with luridly, lovingly filmed gore and over-the-top action.
All along, Arnold's team of undercover agents — an ongoing grunt-off led by
Arnold is more effortless at stogie-puffing alpha male virility, but he doesn't segue easily between the brash jokiness and street-cred darkness.
Ayer is on firmer ground with
Artificially jacked up to feel like mean but serious fun, "Sabotage" mostly flings blood, vengeance, testosterone and clichés to the wall to see what sticks.
MPAA rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, sexuality, nudity and drug use
Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Playing: In wide release