A Commentary for Losers (incomplete)

Recently, I watched a movie called “The Losers”, based on a Vertigo comic book series that I’ve never read.  I had absolutely no expectations going into it, and I knew nothing about it going in either.  I’ve actually grown to prefer such experiences with films, as it removes a portion of bias either for or against the film.  Or, perhaps another way to put it is this:  Going in with expectations means you start at ten out of ten and subtract points for every flaw, while going in with no expectations means you start at zero and add points for every feature.  No expectations thus make it easier for a viewer to focus on the positive points, rather than the negative.

“The Losers” is an ensemble-cast action film the feels very similar to the recent A-Team or The Expendables.  And as with those movies, it also tends to pay homage to the very premise of an action film with its cardboard-cutout villains, non-existent plot, witty one-liners, and ludicrous over-the-top stunts.  But herein is a pertinent question:  if all these classic action movie tropes and clichés are generally regarded as shallow, stupid, and indicative of bad writing, is it desirable to seek them out and reuse them, even to pay them homage?  The old classics of actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Jean Claude Van Damme are viewed lovingly by action fans as a quaint product of their time.  However, that time has passed.  What passes as “acceptable” for a film today is different than what did twenty or thirty years ago.  Just as technology evolves, language evolves, and culture evolves, so too do movies evolve with the passage of time, and while some may say these old action movies were good “for their time”, again, this is not their time.  If a movie from the 80’s were suddenly released today in theaters, it likely would fair quite poorly.

What, then, can be said of a film released today that is purposely trying to be like those old movies?

 

{Incomplete and likely will be rephrased, but the seed is now planted.}

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