Arnold no longer governing / Now this crap, we sit through it.
That intro was inspired by The Beastie Boys song “Sabotage.”
I would’ve rather watched that award winning video done by Spike Jonez. Instead, this movie was directed by David Ayer. He did End of Watch, which was garbage, despite what everyone else claims (no cops would act like that). Ayer also got props for writing Training Day, another movie that has cops acting in a way that is totally unrealistic. But hey – Denzel won an Oscar for it and everyone liked it. Perhaps that explains why this movie will make over $100 million, and the studios will keep pumping these things out.
One of the problems with this movie is that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a gang of DEA agents that are undercover thugs. We’re supposed to love tough crews like this, but when they unwind by going into strip clubs and beating up bouncers and harass women – well, what’s there to like?
I love how the film opens with Schwarzenegger watching a woman getting tortured, and we get to be tortured by watching him trying to act. Whether it’s facial expressions or dialogue, this guy is just horrible on screen. I guess to make up for that, they have a superfluous scene where he goes to the gym to work out, while being tailed by agents. You see, they think he and his crew stole $10 million when they took down a drug cartel. And we see that they did, yet somebody in that crew apparently stole the loot before it was divvied up.
This means the agents also follow him to the bathroom, while he scowls. These are supposedly the humorous moments of the movie. If that sounds funny to you, you’re not going to be disappointed by this.
Somehow, the bosses find out this crew stole the money, but they can’t prove it. This means they’re back in action, with some of the goofiest training scenes ever shot. We watch Arnold run around with a grimace on his face, and cigar in hand, yelling words of encouragement. He has his hair dyed poorly, and I still haven’t been able to figure out what that was all about.
And just as the case is closed and the crew is ready to get back to beating up bouncers and drug cartels, they start getting picked off. You’ll think it’s from the creature that was hunting down Schwarzenegger’s crew in Predator, because instead of just killing them – they’re hung from the roof with their insides all over the place. It’s rather gory for one of these kind of pictures.
You’ll recognize some in the crew. There’s Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Sam Worthington (Avatar, and the underrated The Debt), Terrence Howard (who seems to be missing Iron Man), and Josh Holloway.
At least the female characters are interesting. Mireille Enos (World War Z) plays the female in the crew, and she’s tough. She’s also addicted to some substances. I’m not sure why her husband (Worthington) or boss (Schwarzenegger) don’t seem to do anything about that.
Another female that’s good in this is Olivia Williams (Sixth Sense, An Education, Ghost Writer). I loved the sexual tension she had with every man that was on screen with her. And although she has that typical role of the FBI agent that’s angry she’s not in the loop – she’s enjoyable to watch and really helps this subpar material. It reminded me of Frances McDormand in Fargo. (I can guarantee you that I’m the only critic in the world that just mentioned Fargo in the same breath as this horrible film.)
If Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to continue to make movies, there are two things I’d like to request. One, is that the writers give him lines like “Hasta la vista, baby.” It’s really the only thing he can do well on screen. Well, that and toke on a stogie.
Two, consider having subtitles. Even though he’s always playing 25-year CIA of DEA agents, it always sounds like he just arrived in this country 25 minutes ago.
This movie gets 1 ½ stars out of 5, simply because the two actresses had such strong performances. I expect to see it on my 10 worst of the year.