© 2010Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
The Losers

Filthy says:
"The frat boys still suck."

The Losers is what happens when a frat guy gets to write his deepest fantasies, minus the date rapes. It's a smug asshole's wet dream: shooting guns, strutting like a peacock with his dick dragging in the mud, and having only the most superficial understanding of morality. In The Losers, it's okay for good guys to kill innocents, but not okay for the bad guys. Actually, if the bad guys kill an innocent, the good guys get to kill them too. This movie is as dumb as a shoot-em-up gets, and not nearly enough fun to justify it.

Another thing about The Losers that makes me think of frat guys is this: the heroes are fucking morons who think they're really clever. I'm sure they're as clever as screenwriters Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt, meaning they aren't nearly as smart as they think they are. In order for the heroes to be brighter than the villains, the villains are written to be dumber than eating frozen fish sticks with hot fudge after getting drunk on your own fermented urine. Take my word for it, that feels really dumb. Especially the third time you do it.

This is a low-rent ripoff of the A-Team. Ripping off The A-Team makes as much sense counterfeiting Zimbabwean dollars. Despite what nostalgia and faded memories tell you: the A-Team was shitty. It's not like it's some classic story that requires retelling and reinvention to discover all of its nuances. But Hollywood ain't interested in nuance of reinvention. They like easy. In fact, if anything The Losers dumbs down an already lame idea. In the old TV show, the ragtag band of loveable losers fought to help other people. In this one, the unlikeable, bland assholes are only act on their desire to kill someone out of revenge.

Some no-name actors, one of whom looks sort of like the tall guy on Everybody Loves Raymond but mumblier (I guess that gives him the most starpower), are a top secret team of soldiers. One guy is the computer whiz, one is the crackshot, one is the charmer and two guys play BA Baracus, able to drive or fly anything. These guys don't have the charm or wit of the A-Team, who didn't have the charm or wit of Ethel Merman after eight carafes of burgundy, a bottle of Quaaludes and with her mouth stuffed full of dicks, singing "Mame".

The Losers were betrayed by their superior and left for dead in South America. Not being dead, they seek revenge on their superior, a shadowy bad guy named Max. He is played by the long-lost and easily-forgotten Jason Patric, a man as famous for his comedic chops as I am for dental hygiene. Yet, here he is failing as miserably at being funny as I do at having good breath.

Patric is a meant to be an over-the-top hyper-evil Bond villain. A retarded one. He assumes the titular Losers are dead because they threw their tangled dog tags into a pile of burnt helicopter ashes. I guess he just figured they died while entangled like snakes in an erotic orgy. Not being dead, the Z-Team wishes they could kill him, but have no idea how. That's because they are neither smart nor resourceful.

Enter Zoe Saldana, a shadowy stranger who can be quickly bed. She effortlessly tracks the Z-Team down in Bolivia. One of the first things she tells them is that it was easy to find them. I guess that's because she's not a supervillain and mastermind with unlimited resources. For those guys, it's fucking impossible.

Saldana talks the Z-Team into helping her kill Patric. They are slightly skeptical of a stranger. Who wouldn't be? The problem with this turd is that they truly are only barely doubtful. They quickly agree to whatever she says when her argument is "I wouldn't say this if I were a liar," This is what's called in screenwriting a "complete and total load of horseshit."

What follows is a fake globetrotting adventure for the heroes and villains. Fake because The Losers' idea of traveling the world is showing b-roll establishing shots of Dubai, Mumbai, Nogales, Miama and Bolivia followed by scenes happening in a generic room, warehouse or office. Someone with a camera traveled the world, but it wasn't these actors or this story.

I have virtually no recollection of the main characters. They all have tough guy names that represent a serious lack of imagination. I think there's a Rock Hardcock and a Roy Manbooby. It doesn't matter, though. These characters aren't worthy of original names. The Losers makes the most transparent of attempts to trick us into giving a shit. That is, each character is allowed one distinguishing trait: one has a baby due to a wife who thinks he's dead. One wears goofy T-shirts. One is a hard-ass and another rarely speaks. All are superheroes in the fighting department, and all will happily shoot innocent police, security guards and blow up shit around the helpless, unsuspecting people on the streets of major cities. They are, like I said, a frat guy's nonsexual wet dream. Wait, make that a frat guy overloading on winstrol-stanozolol.

The Z-Team is very slow to figure out the obvious and very quick to resolve huge plot holes. In fact, they resolve every single one of them by ignoring it. The movie's leaps from scene to scene left me thinking "What happened to...", "How'd they manage to..." "But what about..." For the first half, anyway. By the last 45 minutes I was bored out of my fucking skull. The climax takes place on the docks and is loaded with shootouts, explosions and double-crosses. The heroes have perfect aim when necessary, and lousy aim when it's convenient. The bad guys always have shitty aim. Because the characters are so fucking trite and interchangeable, I had a hard time keeping track of the action and why I was supposed to give a fuck.

Once this turd winds its way out of the lower intestine of the film projector, there are two unpleasant surprises waiting for audiences. First is, Jason Patric gets away in what signals a sequel. For fuck's sake! Don't make a shitty movie and then be so damn smug about it that you already plan a sequel. Who in their right fucking mind thought something this disposable was franchise material? The Losers' coda is a sappy reminder that, hey, even though these guys have killed and endangered hundreds, they're human beings and we ought to love them. Fuck it, a movie has to earn a coda as sticky as the one that closes out this crapper.

The Losers is shit: dumb, dreadful, unfunny frat boy shit. It's built up with GNC protein powders, and has the muscles built on a Bowflex. It has muscles that look big but are useless for doing real work, like telling a story. One Finger. Just be thankful it doesn't live next door and blast Steve Miller Band at all hours.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Stalwart Pete Hammond of BoxOffice Magazine

The Last Song is "an unforgettable, touching and wonderful movie!"

The Good Heart is "A wonderful opportunity for memorable character studies by two fine actors at the top of their game!"

Filthy's Reading
Jonathan Tropper - The Book of Joe

Listening to
Beulah - The Coast is Never Clear


Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy