Thursday, April 29, 2010

Summer of the übermensch(es)

Two nights ago I went to see The Losers, largely on the strength of three things: (1) the trailer was cool, (2) it had Zoe Saldana, whom I am quite happy to watch in any context that doesn't involve her being CGIed into a giant blue Amerindian cat person, and (2) it featured Idris Elba, who for me will always be Stringer Bell from The Wire. The movie is of the Elite Squad action sub-genre, the kind in which you have a team of soldiers, mercenaries or thieves, each of whom has a particular area of expertise, and who over the course of the film carry off several daring / difficult / impossible missions and/or heists.

Let's be clear: The Losers is an extremely bad film, but fortunately bad in very entertaining ways. This is a film that does not embrace the clichés of its genre so much as immerse itself in them as if in a warm bath. Lots of explosions, fire-fights, and the Elite Squad walking toward the camera in slow motion. Good times.

What is more interesting to me however—honestly, this film does not really rate a mention on this blog otherwise—are the trailers that preceded the movie. First was a film called The Expendables, which stars—wait for it—Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, and Stone Cold Steve Austin ... and with cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In other words, pretty much all of the major action stars from the previous three decades. And yes—it is an Elite Squad film about, as sums up, "a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator." As a friend of mine observed, whether this film intends it or not, it will be a parody.

The next trailer featured was for Takers (which also, interestingly, stars Idris Elba—so glad he's getting post-Wire work), a film about an elite group of thieves and their plan to make off with a twenty million dollar heist.

At this point, knowing full well what The Losers is about, I'm thinking to myself "Huh ... I kind of don't have to watch this movie now ..."

It strikes me that we seem to have a critical mass of Elite Squad movies hitting theatres this summer. The Stallone film in and of itself cranks this dial up to eleven, but we also have The A-Team coming out soon ... and I'm kind of happy to have seen The Losers, because after that ... honestly, how bad could the film adaptation of my favourite TV show when I was eleven be?

Don't answer that.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

there's a really sweet cameo in the A-Team as well: while Bradley Cooper is waiting in line for a passport at a Danish seaport, a plucky young past student of yours on his first day as a "background actor" should be visible directly behind him... eyes peeled!