starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoë Saldana, Chris Evans, Jason Patric
screenplay by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt, based on the comic book series by Andy Diggle and Jock
directed by Sylvain White
THE BACK-UP PLAN
starring Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen, Linda Lavin
screenplay by Kate Angelo
directed by Alan Poul
by Ian Pugh We've got a long summer ahead of us, full of remakes and spoofs straight out of the '80s, and The Losers celebrates its imminent arrival by taking a dump on the action flicks of the era. Blinkered hostility is as much a mood-killer as uncritical nostalgia, and The Losers never misses an opportunity to remind you that its characters have one-note personalities defined by terse nicknames. The film begins, as it must, in the Bolivian jungle, where the titular team of U.S. soldiers (led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is forced to go underground after an errant missile--intended for them--kills twenty-five Bolivian children they'd just saved from an evil drug lord. At first glance, that opening raid points to a toned-down Predator reference, but it's really just a paint-by-numbers scenario meant to demonstrate how pretty much everything from that decade is stilted, corny, and hopelessly dated. So it goes for the rest of the film--how else to explain a brief chase sequence set to "Don't Stop Believin'"? It's not merely junk, it's self-conscious, wilfully-misinterpretive junk.