Thursday, October 28, 2010

Separated At Birth: The Losers vs. The A-Team

Whoa.  Talk about déjà vu!

Two movies about government sponsored teams who get double-crossed and go out to clear their names.  Two movies featuring over-the-top action peppered with lighthearted humor.  Two movies which have their third acts take place at the port of Los Angeles.

Talk about déjà vu!

The Losers

Based on the comic book by Andy Dingle and Jock, The Losers wastes no time getting in your face with it's heavy dose of action-comedy.  Seriously.  Five minutes in and people are getting shot.

I'm not complaining though.  I knew what I was in for with this one, so I wasn't exactly expecting a thought-provoking film.  The movie is fun, and that's really all it tries to be, so I give the filmmakers credit for doing their job well.  I, personally, liked that there were little stylistic touches throughout the movie, telling the audience where the characters currently were.  It reminded me a lot of Zombieland, which is a good thing.  It works in a movie like this.

The cast is great to be honest, if not very well known.  Almost everyone knows who Chris Evans is these days, and I'm glad to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan coming up in the Hollywood hierarchy.  You may remember him best as the dead boyfriend from Grey's Anatomy, or the dead dad from Weeds, or the dead superhero from Watchmen.  The other actors are all fantastic as well, but these two steal most of the scenes they are in.

My biggest complaints on the movie are that slow-motion seems completely overused in the first half of the movie and that Eric Stoltz felt like a generic-brand Bond villain with an evil scheme, that rivaled the ridiculous plot of G.I. Joe, involving a super-bomb called a 'snuke' (all I could think of was an episode of South Park form a few years ago).

The A-Team

If you thought that The Losers took action to a new level of ridiculous, then you clearly have not seen Bradley Cooper fly a tank.

No, really, he flys a tank.

Based on the television show from the 1980's of the same name, The A-Team was released mere weeks after The Losers.  I would almost say that the two movies were based off the exact same premise.

The A-Team seems like the younger, more eager twin of The Losers, always trying to one-up it.  The Losers fly a helicopter?  Well, The A-Team flys a helicopter upside-down.  The Losers blow up a private jet?  The A-Team blows up an entire freighter.

Anything you can do, I can do bigger.

Being that The A-Team is based on a more well-known property, it of course landed more high-profile stars, and they work well together.  This is another one that I was shocked didn't do better in theaters.

Featuring a more interesting bad-guy (played by up-and-comer Patrick Wilson) and more intense action, it's hard to see where The A-Team may fall short.  Well, it falls short in a few areas.  Sometimes, the camera cuts can be a bit jarring, as if Mr. Michael Bay himself had done the editing, and it isn't hard to miss a bit of dialogue because you were so distracted by the fact that you have no idea what just happened.

The Decision

Honestly, I'd sit down with a cold beer and a couple of friends to watch either movie and be perfectly content.  They are both fine additions to the action genre, and I'd be more than happy to see a sequel to either one, seeing as both have endings left wide open for the sequel option.

In fact, I'd like to see both movies get a continuation, though I don't really expect either one will.

So, to be honest, neither movie is really superior to the other, as they both feel like opposite sides of the same double-headed coin.  I would recommend either one as a rental at least, that way if you don't dig The A-Team, at least you have a Plan B.

Cheesy, I know.

The Losers is currently out on DVD and Blu-Ray, and you'll be able to pick up The A-Team on December 14th.

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