The Losers Review And More

So I went and saw The Losers a few days ago.  I liked it, a lot.  It is not a great movie, but it is the best kind of goofy fun.  The Losers follows a squad of ex-CIA operatives on their quest out get revenge on the man who betrayed and tried to kill them.  They could have played the revenge story perfectly straight and had a mediocre movie with no reason to recommend it over any other such spy/revenge movie.  Instead, The Losers plays it about a third part to comedy.  It is a big action packed 80’s movie that is aware of how ridiculous everything that going on is.  They don’t exactly wink at the camera, but they still have a lot of fun with the whole thing.  It helps that the movie is very well acted.  They got some really good guys that I don’t think are that well known.  Playing the two central characters, Roque and Clay, are Idris Elba and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who should be household names, and their performances are worth the ticket price alone.  Jason Patric, who plays the villainous Max, plays up his role to absurdly dastardly heights.  He is ridiculous, but he has an air of menace about him that makes him a viable antagonist.   The rest of the cast is almost as good.  Despite the comic nature of the bulk of the movie, the action and personal moments actually work well too.  The jokes come not from usually from the situations, but from the dialogue.   The characters talk and joke like old friends and it really works.  It is both a quality action movie and a comedy, but unlike most action comedies, neither part overwhelms or hinders the other.  The Losers provides more than enough laughs and more than enough explosions, and that seems to be exactly what the movie set out to do.  As pure fun entertainment I can’t recommend The Losers enough.  B+
I also saw Balls of Fury on TV.  I had passed on this when it came out because it frankly did not look to be very good.  I’m not sure I was wrong, because this should be a terrible movie, but somehow instead of being awful it is really funny.  It is not a comedy with tons of hilarious moment, but it maintains a steady flow of humor throughout.  It is never great, but it also never fails to entertain.  It is also less a sports movie pastiche, like Will Ferrell has been making with increasingly diminishing returns, but a kung-fu movie disguised as a sports movie.  Ping-Pong has replaced martial arts as the focus, but it is a kung-fu movie, which I am less familiar with than sports movies, but it somehow works.  The makers seemed to recognize the stupidity of everything in this movie and turned it from a weakness to a strength.  Christopher Walken plays it as though his character only barely wants to be involved, and the protagonist Randy Daytona never stops being an over the hill loser.  Even George Lopez turns in an entertaining performance.  In no way is this a great movie, but its worth watching on a slow Saturday.  B-

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