Massawyrm says Jason Patric spoils every bit of fun THE LOSERS has to offer
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
I’ve had my eye on Sylvain White for a while now. He’s easy enough for most folks to dismiss, mind you. With an early career festooned with a pair of direct to video camp-fests – TROIS 3: THE ESCORT and I’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, both third parts to ailing series – followed by the mainstream definitely-not-aimed-at-the-critics STOMP THE YARD, he’s exactly the kind of guy folks love to sling poo at. While the films he was able to get are far from top shelf material, sitting down to watch them is a different story. Every single one of those films is better than it has any right to be. White elevates the material. He takes clunky dialog and makes it work, disguises low budgets with great cinematography and shot structures, and most importantly, gets good performances out of his casts. Even watching something like I’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (from a series I loathed) I found myself liking entire chunks of what I was watching, despite hating it conceptually, admiring it instead for its craft. So when I heard he was taking interest in geek properties like CASTLEVANIA and THE LOSERS, I knew something was going on with this guy. He wasn’t just another for-hire director taking crap gigs; he was a talented guy taking what he could get to prove himself.
Needless to say, I went into this film with high hopes. Sadly, I came out mildly disappointed.
There is so much about this film that I really like. White has assembled a cast of top notch actors to play THE LOSERS. Every single one of them gets the material, has a genuine chemistry with all the other actors and most of all, seem to be having a great time. Their fun playing with all these firearms, vehicles and explosions transcends the screen and they share every moment with you. The movie is funny, fast paced and great looking. Every last moment you spend with the team is a good one. And if there is anything to love about this movie at all, it is the team.
And that’s really what a movie like this is all about. Complain all you want about the relative lack of plot, but this is a men-on-a-mission movie, and men-on-a-mission movies are NOT about plot. They’re about the team. THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE SEVEN SAMURAI – they’re all strung together with the flimsiest of plots that can be summed up without missing a beat in a single sentence each; these films are about the characters sent on those missions and how they interact with one another. The A-TEAM, upon which this is liberally borrowed from, was never about the mission; every episode was built around three things: how they were going to break Murdoch out this week, how they were going to get B.A. on a plane this week and what Face was going to be pretending to be this week. That’s it. Pepper in some jokes and explosions and now you’ve got yourself an A-TEAM episode.
Well that’s this. The plot is as thin as they come and you really don’t care, because it is more about watching Chris Evans goof around on missions with Columbus Short while grizzled vets Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba trade machismo-laden comments back and forth under fire. Even Oscar Jaenada, who is pretty much assigned to simply brood in the background with a sniper rifle, broods magnificently. You feel the chemistry of the team and you want to watch them take as many missions seemingly stolen out of MODERN WARFARE 2 as humanly possible.
So why was I disappointed?
Because Jason Patric shows up and ruins the whole god damned thing. Playing Max, the evil mastermind behind the framing of THE LOSERS, Patric cranks the satire knob to eleven and seemingly thinks he’s found himself on the set of a James Bond parody. Imagine a prissy, forgetful, sarcastic Ernst Blofeld who REALLY thinks he’s fucking funny, prancing around to the confused stares of his hired Special Forces goons and you get the faintest idea of what Patric is doing here. Every time he’s on screen he sucks the very oxygen out of the room and he proves to be the albatross that condemns the whole damned production to idle with windless sails for minutes on end. He not only lacks menace, he’s laughable, and once the nature of his high tech McGuffin is revealed to the audience followed by the movie’s worst line, you no longer can take him seriously. If that weren’t enough, he’s one of those completely mad villains who simply murders henchmen left and right for almost no apparent reason, making you wonder why anyone in their right mind would work for him at all.
But I cannot put the blame entirely on Patric’s performance. Afterall, he didn’t write the script, and unless he adlibbed his entire character, there has to be a handful of people responsible for things like Snukes and random henchmen assassination. The moment he shows up the momentum of the movie is lost. You simply can’t care about five badasses tracking down the meanest, orneriest, sissyboy villain in the world, because they clearly exist in very different universes. One is a gritty, Special Forces testosterone driven universe and the other is a terrible comedy that should be populated with failing superhero wannabes trying to prove themselves to the real superheroes.
Fortunately, the movie isn’t about Patric’s Max. It’s about THE LOSERS, and about 30 seconds after Max is gone, you’ve forgotten all about him and can return to some really great scenes with THE LOSERS kicking ass. But something deep inside of you knows that Max will soon be back. And the movie is never the same. It’s one of those films I can’t wait to see the fanedit community get a hold of, in which they rip out all of Max’s scenes and keep his character entirely off screen where he belongs. Everything without him is really quite a bit of fun.
I still have hope for White, but unless it comes out that his hands were mysteriously tied on the content and direction of the Max scenes, I have to hold him the most responsible. The scenes are awful - mystifyingly terrible - and they ruin an otherwise fun, action-y treat. This is worth a look, but sadly not nearly as good as it could, or should, be.
Until next time friends,
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April 22, 2010, 10:12 a.m. CST
Can't wait . . . for it to show up on-demand via my Roku. Yay, Netflix!
April 22, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST
Border on homophobic. Is your real problem with this movie that Jason Patric threatened your fragile masculinity?
April 22, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST
Not one mention?
April 22, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST
...at the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin. It was decent. Nothing special really tho. Seem to me like a stripped down A-Team.
April 22, 2010, 10:17 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
April 22, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST
I'm standing here, knee-deep in a pool of shock.
April 22, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST
What kind of fucking name is that if not a girl's? Seriously, I've been thinking great they have a woman reviewer, hmm.
April 22, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST
or streamintg.....I mean getting it from Netflix....*cough*
April 22, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST
with the actor who plays the villain in the movie? how old are you Massa?
April 22, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST
is our only hope
April 22, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST
It's not that I sort of dislike him in everything I've seen him in, or just feel ambivalent about him, he genuinely makes me angry. He comes off like such a douche in the roles he's in, even roles that DON'T REQUIRE him to be douchy. Horrible actor.
April 22, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST
I actually love how much thought and analysis goes into your reviews, but I have to say, I think you're dead wrong about Jason Patrick. I especially loved the interaction between him and Holt McConolly. It just seems odd that you can talk about how films like this or never about the plot, and are usually peppered with an abundance of humor, and feel that Patrick's character was out of place. If anything, I feel like you're contradicting yourself. By your own logic regarding these kinds of films, it can easily be argued that the portrayal of Max shouldn't be able to spoil "every bit of fun the Losers has to offer". To say that is a disservice to all the praise you're giving the film for being exactly what it should be, in your opinion. It's about the TEAM. Like you said. And according to you, the film succeeds on that level.
April 22, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST
I'm amazed that with the state this site is in, a (semi) early (negative!) review was posted. I don't expect it to last, but nice job Massa.
April 22, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST
I like the cast. I don't care much for Patric but I won't let that ruin it for me. Still looks like a fun movie.
April 22, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST
Y'know, he loves comic books and video games. Shouldn't he be the greatest director on earth?<br> (Let me also recommend Vern's review of Kick-Ass, over at outlawvern.com to you.)
April 22, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST
Someone should have uttered that line to Patric's character, at some point in The Losers.
April 22, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST
or does he simplely know he'll never get to play this character again
April 22, 2010, 11:27 a.m. CST
...this is based on a comic book. Could it be that this is the character as written by the creators?
April 22, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST
But Patric's always seemed really wooden to me, apart from his absolutely brilliant performance in Your Friends and Neighbours where he struck exactly the right balance between bland yuppie jock and icy psychopath. Even something like the Lost Boys, which is widely considered a cult classic, would have been improved if they'd cast a young Johnny Depp or even Keanu Reeves in Patric's role.
April 22, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST
There's no fucking mention of the amazing beauty that is Zoe Saldana. Thanks a lot Massawyrm. Thanks for nothing.
April 22, 2010, 11:55 a.m. CST
But how the hell does Massawyrm's comments border on homophobia? Jesus, some of you people shouldn't expose yourself to life if you get so crybabyish over the smallest things. I feel sorry for the people -- if any -- that hang around you and have to walk on eggshells in order to avert any potential tear flood disasters.
April 22, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST
I cant think of a scene where i've ever seen Jason Patric playing a comedic role, he never seems the sort, from what you're saying massywyrm it doesnt add up that he was right for this movie - from your descriptions and what i've seen from the trailers of macgruber, Patric and Kilmer should have switched movies?
April 22, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST
by Rev. Artemis Prime
I love your reviews Massa, but damn, this was one fun flick and Jason was a PERFECT baddie. Loved every minute of the silly bastard
April 22, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST
To say that Chris Evans's character worked and Jason Patric's did not is asinine. They were both ridiculously over-the-top in ways that were funny at times and just stupid at other times. It's not Jason Patric's fault that the film is so inconsistent in its mood, veering from Stallone-style dumb action to quasi-sophistocated Bond-light action to Sin City-style noir action to goofy-ass parody. Neither is it Patric's fault that the action is staged like a lower-budget version of a Michael Bay movie (the final set-piece in particular is shot and edited). The team is not nearly as well-developed as Massawyrm suggests. Each of the actors does well to develop a distinctive character, but the viewer never gets emotionally invested in their relationships with each other. As a result, certain developments in the third act that should pack an emotional whallop instead elicit little more than a shrug. It's dumb. It's fun. It doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. If one is sensitive about the long history in film of exoticized and eroticized depictions of the racial other, both Aisha and Cougar become problematic characters. On the other hand, parts of it were a lot of fun. Zoe Saldana's fight scene with Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the hotel room was delightfully absurd, over-the-top, and sexy. Her character was poorly written and underutilized, but she vamped it up gloriously. Chris Evans's "Don't Stop Believin'" segment was really funny, though they tried to milk it a little too much. Oscar Jaenada does a lot with a few simple gestures and expressions and almost no dialogue. But too much of what's on the screen is generic and dumb and retread of better movies. It's worth watching if you're in the mood for a pleasant time-waster, but it's not anything more than that.
April 22, 2010, 12:14 p.m. CST
Word Bitch, Narc like a mother fucker!
April 22, 2010, 12:31 p.m. CST
Its going allright. Editing some videos today. Way behind on the deadline. I keep finding reasons to procrastinate and visit movie sites and that's not okay! Its driving me crazy! How you?
April 22, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST
There's no such thing as a good PG-13 action movie...
April 22, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST
what the shit?
April 22, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST
Editing some pics myself. Unfortunately I don't get paid for them -- not yet at least. Same thing here -- getting distracted on websites. Like crack aint it?
April 22, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST
was to me. Man that movie failed to live up to the staggering hype. One of the most overrated movies of all time. I was so pumped when I went in, but felt deflated after seeing what was an okay movie.
April 22, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST
That I am addicted to the internet. I am an information junkie. And it can be terribly distracting during important days like today.
April 22, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST
Or else Massawyrm will be the one that spoils The Losers rather than Jason Patric.....you see what I did there?
April 22, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST
thank you South Park!
April 22, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 3 p.m. CST
"But how the hell does Massawyrm's comments border on homophobia?"<br /><br />A sense of humor might be too much to ask, but a sense of irony, at least? I would think the transparent absurdity in this context would let the reader appreciate that the comment was not seriously intended as an indictment of Massawyrm's suppressed homosexual feelings.<br /><br />Joke. Sheesh.
April 22, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST
Over on that other site, Drew says Patric was great and really upped his game on this one. Who to believe? I think they should fight it out. Five hundred quatloos on the newcomer!!
April 22, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST
by SeXX ED
... direct to video.
April 22, 2010, 3:57 p.m. CST
I sure hope I'm not as bothered by this though. I didn't get overly upset by the let downs of Clash of the Titans, so I think I'm in a better frame of mind to enjoy these things despite the flaws, unlike reviewers.
April 22, 2010, 4 p.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST
If anybody wants proof that the guy can act if he tries, I urge you to check it out. Plus, Bruce fucking Dern is in it.
April 22, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST
April 22, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST
He's got more serious things on his mind than girls and school. Things we...wouldn't understand. There ya go, Doc.
April 22, 2010, 4:34 p.m. CST
In After Dark, My Sweet and Your Friends And Neighbors. And that SNL skit where he was Super Intense Actor Guy.
April 22, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST
... positives about this limp dick flick. I don't disagree that he laid it on a bit too thick, but it was fine. This movie wasn't taking itself too seriously to begin with. Jason was having fun with the role. Personally, you take Jason & Capt. America outta the flick and it's nothing more than that annoying floater that just won't flush. It woulda' really sucked.
April 22, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST
Is a decent actor. Some of the scripts and characters he gets sometimes are not so great, but I've sen enough of his films to know the guy can act just fine. Just take a look at the incredible 1993 Walter Hill directed film GERONIMO (that sure need to be put into Widescreen), the 1988 film The Beast of War, or The Lost Boys (of course) or even the 2004 remake of The Alamo which was pretty decent. I've never seen Patric in a terrible role (Speed 2 sure as hell was not Speed 1 but I didn't hate it like some did). Hell, even Solarbabies was a decent enough 80's flick and it is a good chance to see Patric and that hot chick from the Lost Boys together one more time in what is the first time they worked toghter). I've always thought Patric was a decent, maybe even a bit above average actor. It just sounds like someone here has real grudge against him. Whatever.
April 22, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST
He can't be so bad as to ruin an otherwise enjoyable film. I mean, he's not Andy Dick for fucks sake. (Not that he's even been anywhere near an enjoyable film)
April 22, 2010, 5:38 p.m. CST
Gee, this is how I would have done it! Whee!
April 22, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST
...tiny, tiny little indie film where he and Samantha Morton play fellow parking meter cops who fall into a blighted affair...blighted by the fact that Patric's character is a raging, massive douche...Patric has sucked the oxygen out of so many films with his inert acting, his new career path seems to have veered into Rod Steiger territory...chewing up the scenery insanely...so he still remains an 'actorish' actor (you can always see the wheels turning)...whether he's any more interesting to watch..that's debateable.....
April 22, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST
That guy really is visit-to-the-dentist-for-oral-surgery painful on the screen.
April 23, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST
I'm starting to prefer your reveiws to the boss mans.
April 23, 2010, 4:40 a.m. CST
I think Patrics star has ascended in a different direction then he wanted it to. So, their might be a tad bit of bitterness in his performance.
April 23, 2010, 6:54 a.m. CST
If he's as bad as Massa says he is in The Losers, it's just a case of miscasting. I wouldn't have thought to make him a criminal overlord. He's best in serious, quieter roles. Still, nothing will deter me from rubbing off to Saldana and Evans. Sit near me at your own peril.
April 23, 2010, 7:19 a.m. CST
by dr sauch
the universe massa sometimes goes to when he reviews films. Massa, I've found, is either 100% dead spot on right in his reviews, or I'm pretty sure that he was watching something else. Just based on my gut instinct, I bet the latter. One character can't ruin a movie, I mean this isn't jar-jar binks we're talking about here.
April 23, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
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April 23, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST
but yeah, i kind think of him as billy zane's brother
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