Director David Ayer is proving to be increasingly adept at character work, but the plot of Sabotage is too dumb and opaque to recommend the film.
Director David Ayer and I have something of a tempestuous relationship. For several years – following his first two films Harsh Times and Street Kings – I was very negative about his output, assuming that he was only capable of thuddingly overblown crime dramas about corrupt cops; some of Christian Bale’s speeches in the little-seen Harsh Times skirt dangerously close to camp. I’m also (and please, no hate) not the biggest fan of the Oscar-winning hit Training Day, which I know is beloved by many. But then in 2012, Ayer made good in my heart by making the surprisingly moving found-footage cop drama End of Watch and pretty much redeemed himself. Ayer finally proved that he could make a film with upbeat, appealing cop characters, and present an appealing and emotional day-in-the-life type drama using the found-footage form. I called it one of the best films of that year.
Ayer has now returned with Sabotage, the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, which is – naturally – another violent, action-packed drama about corrupt cops. In terms of production …read more