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This Little-Remembered Schwarzenegger Movie Is Killing It On Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger's career as an action star has included many iconic roles in equally memorable films. He's been a musclebound warrior in "Conan the Barbarian," the titular time-traveling cyborg assassin in James Cameron's "Terminator" films, a retired Special Forces colonel in "Commando," a police chopper pilot in "The Running Man," a Vietnam War veteran in "Predator," two different men in "Total Recall," and one man with two personas in "True Lies." And that's hardly scratching the surface of what Schwarzenegger has done in the action genre. 

When you've been in the acting game as long as Schwarzenegger has, though, some projects are bound to underwhelm or be forgotten through time. Not even the artist formerly known as the Austrian Oak is immune to one of his movies falling to the wayside. One such flick is the 2014 action-mystery "Sabotage," which failed to impress at the box office and didn't delight critics when it was first released. In the years since, many have looked over "Sabotage," or may not have even known it existed in the first place. 

That all changed on May 19, 2021, when Netflix added "Sabotage" to its library — and subscribers are loving every second of it. Less than a week after its Netflix debut, "Sabotage" is burning up the streamer's charts, ranking at No. 5 on Netflix's Top 10 most-watching movies in the U.S. Talk about a comeback!

Sabotage has an all-star cast and an awesome plot

In "Sabotage," Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the leader of a rough-and-tumble team of DEA agents known for carrying out daring raids on some of the most dangerous cartel operations in the country. The DEA's Special Operations Team — informally known as the DEA SOT — consists of Schwarzenegger's Breacher, Joe Manganiello's Joe "Grinder" Philips, Sam Worthington's James "Monster" Murray, Mireille Enos' Lizzy Murray (Monster's wife), Terrence Howard's Julius "Sugar" Edmonds, Max Martini's Tom "Pyro" Roberts, Kevin Vance's Bryce "Tripod" McNeely, Mark Schlegel's "Smoke" Jennings, and Josh Holloway's Eddie "Neck" Jordan.

During one assignment, a tense warehouse raid, the team pushes their bad behavior to the limit by illegally pocketing $10 million in confiscated money. The original intention is to split the loot. However, when the money goes missing and members of the team begin dying one by one, it becomes clear to Breacher that somebody is getting greedy — and they won't stop until they're the only one left alive to claim the cash.

While on paper, the film's gritty and intense action set pieces sound like they are right in line with Schwarzenegger's previous projects, the process of creating "Sabotage" was quite different. Both Schwarzenegger and director and co-writer David Ayer — yes, the same filmmaker behind 2016's "Suicide Squad" – spoke about how their unique collaboration came to be.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Ayer had a back-to-basics approach to Sabotage

According to interviews done around the time of the movie's release, Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Ayer's relationship was built on a foundation of mutual appreciation. Schwarzenegger revealed to Jimmo O. of JoBlo that he'd been a fan of Ayer's before being cast. "I saw 'End of Watch' and I just loved the movie and I loved his writing ... I wanted to work with him," the actor said, adding, "When he rewrote that script and put his kind of skills on the script it became such a fantastic story, so intense."

Schwarzenegger wasn't just content to show up and read his lines. As he explained to Movieclips Coming Soon, "I told him right from the beginning that I'm willing to do everything that I was asked to do. ... I did everything that he asked me to do because I'm totally committed to this movie."

Ayer wasn't shy to take him up on that promise. During an interview with Collider, the director explained that he took a "Karate Kid" approach of breaking everything down to the basics in order to prepare Schwarzenegger and the rest of the actors to portray a highly specialized police squadron. Ayer shared, "I went to him and said, 'Let's start from zero and pretend you have no history,' and then build it up and train the way a real police officer would."

The director went on to say of Schwarzenegger, "He went to the range and started learning the orthodoxy of firearms and tactics. And I put him with very cool, very real people who could show him how it's done in the real world."

To see if that approach got the desired results, take a chance on "Sabotage," currently streaming on Netflix.