In an earlier version of the movie “Sabotage,” Summit County sheriff captain Jaime FitzSimons’ character had a significant amount of face time with one of Hollywood’s most recognizable action movie stars — Arnold Schwarzenegger. While the final film features less physical time for FitzSimons on screen, his handiwork can be seen throughout the movie.
The film features Schwarzenegger as John “Breacher” Wharton, the head of a team of elite DEA agents. At the start of the movie, the audience watches as the team busts up a cartel safe house, getting a feel for how the characters operate as a cohesive unit. They battle their way into the house to find a large pile of cash, from which they skim a cool $10 million for their trouble, hiding it away. When they come back later, however, the money is gone and both audience and characters are left to puzzle out what happened.
“Sabotage” is FitzSimons’ fifth Hollywood film. He often serves as a technical advisor for director David Ayer, calling on more than 20 years of law enforcement experience to give the films a realistic edge. This includes consultation on weapons handling as well as training the actors in firearms and tactics. So whenever an actor raises his or her weapon on screen, that’s FitzSimons. Whenever the DEA team leaps into action, FitzSimons walked that route with them on set again and again.
“The difference between training actors and training cops is that actors usually don’t have any bad habits,” he said. “They’re clean slates.”
He even consulted on the dialogue.
“That’s just real cop banter,” he said, of a scene where the characters train at clearing out a house filled with enemies.
As the plot advances, the meaning of the title “Sabotage” becomes clear. The audience is introduced to Detective Caroline, as portrayed by Olivia Williams, who is thrown into the middle of the confusion when investigating the death of one of Schwarzenegger’s team members. What seems like a straightforward case quickly spirals out of control as more bodies start dropping and fingers are pointed from all sides.
“Sabotage” is rated R, and rightly so. It’s incredibly gory, even for an action flick about hardened DEA agents. Multiple people get shot in the head and the camera does not pan away, but rather, lingers. The special effects are not for the faint of heart.
The most interesting part of the film, in this reviewer’s opinion, is Schwarzenegger’s character. He plays much more darkly introspective than his usual role, and it works.
“It’s an Arnold that you won’t see coming,” said FitzSimons. “It’s a very dark, dramatic role for him, and whether you’re an Arnold fan or not, this is a must-see movie.”