Friday, October 01, 2010


What happens when I'm not discerning

By Edward Copeland
As a year grows older, I get impatient, especially as my age odometer turns over more miles and my access to new releases in the theaters dry up. As a result, my usual finicky standards for what to rent on DVD begin to lower a little, just so I can say I've seen more of a particular year's releases. As a result, a half-read comment saying it was OK and the all-too-rare presence of Jason Patric convinced me to add The Losers to my Netflix queue. Its greatest achievement: I made it to the end without giving up.

Apparently based on a comic book series, The Losers begins with lots of graphic touches so you're clear about its comic origins if you didn't know otherwise. Too bad the screenplay by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt wasn't so blatant, but that might require director Sylvain White to aim for coherence occasionally instead of aping every music video-inspired shot designed for the ADD generation, at least long enough to try to explain the story.

On the other hand, that might stretch The Losers' running time even more than its mercifully short 90 minutes or so. In a nutshell, it involves a team off CIA black operatives led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who looks uncomfortably like Robert Downey Jr. at times, only minus the talent) who are set up for a mission gone wrong and presumed dead.

A mystery woman (Zoe Saldana) contacts the team to help her get revenge on a mysterious mastermind (Patric). (Patric, not surprisingly, provides the film's few bearable moments with his delicious line readings as the supervillain. Let's face it: It takes an actor of his talent to get anything out of dialogue this atrocious. Some of the lines are so cliched that you can practically say them before the characters do.)

Wasted as part of the team is Idris Elba, so great as Stringer Bell on The Wire, then again most of the film is a waste. In the end, I wondered exactly how they came up with the title The Losers then I realized that it referred to anyone who had the misfortune of sitting through this muddle.

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Ha ha, nice review. I love how the Tags include Robert Downey Jr and The Wire even though they're only tangentially related. Pretty clever.

Incidentally, was this on Instant Watch, or did you waste a DVD slot on it?

- Brian
I actually wasted a DVD slot on it.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks like RDJ minus the talent? What are you smoking? JDM is one of the most talented actors of our time and he seems to be making movie after movie, so put that in your pipe and smoke that too!

Lisa, MASS
Getting cast in a lot of movies is not in itself proof of ability. Pauly Shore has a lengthy list of credits.
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