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Hollywood Copies Itself Again: THE EXPENDABLES vs THE A-TEAM vs THE LOSERS

I've been studying the summer movie releases coming up in 2010 and I've noticed that a lot of Hollywood releases are, well, copies of one another. We've seen it time and again. For every original movie, there are a host of copycats. Sometimes, however, we have to put up with more than a few copied scenes and cliche lines. Remember Finding Nemo and Shark Tale? Deep Impact and Armageddon? Hollywood is known to produce formulaic, unoriginal movies, but....come on guys? Did we really need Volcano and Dante's Peak

In this edition, I'll cover one of the biggest trends of the summer: teams of mercenaries exacting vigilante justice. 

Outcasted super soldiers

The A-Team vs. The Expendables vs. The Losers 

Who knew that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was but a taste of things to come. The most excessive decade, the 1980s, still isn't ready to leave us be. Everything from A Nightmare on Elm Street to The Smurfs is being adapted into a big budget movie these days. All three of these films are collected from the decade of Tango & Cash. Be ready for lots of explosions, catch-phrase dialogue, simple plots, gun-fire, and male-bonding. These aren't super hero films, but they are full of big villains and big heroes.

The A-Team

Stars: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson

Release: June 11, 2010

The Hook: Liam Neeson and the nostalgia of the 1980s TV show (mostly the theme song).

A colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going "rogue," they utilize their unique talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit. 

The Expendables

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Brittany Murphy, Bruce Willis

Release: August 13, 2010

The Hook: Packed with more 80s/90s action stars and cliches than I thought was possible. Stallone is hoping people get the joke. 

THE EXPENDABLES is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things arent quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.

The Losers

Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans

Release: April 23, 2010

The Hook: It tries to merge 80s mercenaries with the graphic novel movie genre with a lot of humor, Matrix slo-mos, and stylized sequences.

A tale of double cross and revenge, centered upon the members of an elite U.S. Special Forces unit sent into the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. The team-Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar -find themselves the target of a lethal betrayal instigated from inside by a powerful enemy known only as Max. Presumed dead, the group makes plans to even the score when they're joined by the mysterious Aisha, a beautiful operative with her own agenda. Working together, they must remain deep undercover while tracking the heavily-guarded Max, a ruthless man bent on embroiling the world in a new high-tech global war.

Who will come out on top?


  • The Losers appears to have a much smaller budget.
  • The Expendables is not based on a comic book or former TV series.
  • The A-Team uses a lot of CGI effects and has completely insane scenarios like firing at aircraft while in a tank that's falling from a plane. 
  • While they work outside of the law, Stallone's team in The Expendables don't appear to be on the run from it. 


  • All teams of 4 or 5 men. Mostly former special forces soldiers.
  • They all work together in creative, ludicrous ways to solve problems.
  • Each team member has special talents, like explosives or sniping.
  • All have been betrayed.
  • Each film has a super villain.
  • None of the films gum things up with too many women.
  • Action scenes take place in highly urban or jungle settings.

While we don't yet know which of these films will come out victorious, we do already know The Losers. The name was kind of a giveaway, but The Losers performed poorly at the Box Office ($22,852,800 its first, and probably only, month) and I can understand why (my review is here). There was nothing special or memorable about it, save for Chris Evans, who always puts on a show. 

So that leaves a TV show from the 80s against a movie that seeks to embody the decade. I'd put my money on The Expendables, though both films may prove winners. I get the sense that The A-Team, despite its fantastic cast, may go overboard with its action scenarios. Though ridiculous action is the name of the game here, audiences want to know they are watching people, not cartoons, pull off these maneuvers, no matter how crazy the stunts are. Stallone has his setbacks, but he knows how to craft action and he knows the decade he's targeting better than anyone else. Unfortunately, The Expendables might suffer from too large a cast. If he doesn't properly use Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and other members of the team, many fans might leave disappointed. Also, this movie is sorely lacking in JCVD.

Hopefully both films will live up to our mild expectations. Honestly, as long as they're better than The Losers, I'll be happy. 

Reader Comments (1)

Hello guys, i watch this movie, liked so match.
Ther link where you can watch for free, enjoy...

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstalovikus

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