Monday, July 19, 2010

Film Yap: The Losers

The Losers was lucky and came out a few months before The A-Team, but everybody still noticed that it’s still the same plot. Instead of being Rangers, they are members of a CIA black opts unit who are burned by a corrupt government guy and is now trying to get reinstated and revenge. The team is composed of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Óscar Jaenada who I suppose each have their own thing they do.

The way they were set up was there was this evil guy named Max who wanted to blow up a house full of orphans in Bolivia. The Losers decide they can’t kill orphans so they try to call off the mission, but Max blows them all up anyway. So they hide in Bolivia because….um…I dunno. Then Zoë Saldana shows up and then tries to kill Jeffrey Dean Morgan! Then it turns out she never wanted him dead but wants revenge on Max! So they easily go back to America and then do stuff and very little of it makes sense.

Flimsy doesn’t begin to describe this movie. The plot makes absolutely no sense and characters are hilariously inconsistent. Saldana and Elba are talented actors, but they can’t help it when their characters continuously change what they stand for all of the time. The same goes for Evans, who they can’t decide is the bumbling comic relief or a badass technical wizard.

A lot of this would be excused if it were even a little bit fun. Jason Patric brings a little bit of entertainment to Max, even if it appears that the script is determined to castrate the character. Nobody in this movie has any friendly chemistry with each other. It’s one of the worst team dynamics I’ve ever seen captured in film. Yet they’re still supposed the best of the best of the best of the best of the yawnnnnnn. If that actually was the case then there would actually be a sense of style and competence to what they’re doing.

The Ocean’s 11 team were able to swoop in, be suave and get the job done in the smartest way possible. The Loser’s policy is to BLOW EVERYTHING UP AND SHOOT EVERYTHING AND THEN SAY ‘YO MAMMA’ JOKES. This is reflected in the direction by Sylvian White, the auteur behind Stomp the Yard and I’ll Always Know What You Did Summer. Everything is either in slow motion or radical editing or everybody’s high-fiving. This movie is the drunk guy who is being obnoxious in the middle of the food court at 2:30PM on a Wednesday. It’s just embarrassing after too long.

It doesn’t even make sense how stupid this movie is. The two credited screenwriters are Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). They are two very smart writers who somehow created the laziest screenplay. I’m not asking for movies to be pretentiously smart, but there are other ways where movies can be intelligent. Give me clever and inventive action scenes or some fun insults. Instead this movie just goes the cheapest things that will be forgotten almost immediately.

The bonus features are surprisingly a different story. There are six featurettes that are well done and entertaining. They break down the weapons training, their experience in Puerto Rico, how they film the action, and how cool Zoë Saldana is. There are small hints where you can guess how the film went wrong, but the movie shown in these features is a much better one than the completed one. There was also a deleted scene that was really confusing. I don’t know what happened or where it was supposed to be. On the Blu-Ray there is also a digital copy of The Losers.

There is also a 13-minute long behind the scenes look at a new Batman animated movie called Batman: Under the Red Hood. That was oddly the best bonus feature because that focus was actually about storytelling. The featurette kept showing experts talk about understanding character and responding to the fans. This was inadvertently a hilarious comparison to The Losers because those bonus features had tidbits like finding out they filmed at the Arecibo Observatory just because it looked cool and then changed the script to include it. One form of filmmaking is easily superior in my mind.

Film: 1 Yap

Bonus Features: 4 Yaps

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