Sunday, 2 May 2010

AT THE MOVIES: The Losers + The Back-Up Plan


A team of American soldiers take on the CIA after they are double-crossed and left for dead while on a mission in the Bolivian jungle in the fast, loud The Losers. Squad leader Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (├ôscar Jaenada) are hung out to dry by rogue CIA agent Max (Jason Patric). But with the help of a gorgeous local Bolivian operative (Zoe Saldana) with an agenda of her own, the men beat the odds and return to the US, where they decide to carry out their revenge plan against Max – even if it means sacrificing their own lives. Adapted from the graphic Vertigo comics and directed by Sylvain White (Stomp The Yard), The Losers is a fast-paced action dramedy that aims for non-stop, irreverent fun, but it’s only sporadically on the money. Though violent and explosive, it lacks the zap and kick of a genuine action-adventure thrill ride. Tyrone’s Verdict: C


In The Back-Up Plan, Jennifer Lopez plays the successful, sweet-natured Zoe, a single woman whose biological clock has announced that the time has come for her to have a child, even if it means doing it on her own. Forget adoption. Manless and desperate to execute her plan, Zoe chooses the artificial insemination route, only to bump into her Prince Charming (hunky newcomer Alex O’Loughlin) minutes after exiting her doctor’s office. They meet, fall in love and eventually shack up, but the ride to happily-ever-after is bumpy and fraught with disappointments. Some critics loathe the idea of J.Lo playing the lead in a romantic comedy, but I’m willing to cut her some slack. Evidence (see The Wedding Planner and Maid In Manhattan) suggests that Lopez can nail the rom-com requirements, even when the material is found wanting (case in point: The Back-Up Plan). Portions of the humour here fall painfully flat, but Lopez and her leading man make an attractive couple that holds your attention while enveloped in a believable story centred on pregnancy, relationships and choice. Tyrone’s Verdict: B-

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