The awesome: Bro movies aren’t really my cup of tea. I couldn’t care less if I haven’t seen a single Vin Diesel or Jason Statham film. I figure there’s only so much entertainment one can get out of exploding cars and armed macho men running around being, well, macho. But that’s the artsy fartsy freak in me talking. After seeing The Losers (2010) last week, I realized the error of my ways. Man, this movie has so much testosterone I think my body developed ovaries watching it. That part where Chris Evans blows away an office to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”? Hollywood can’t get any more bad-ass than that, methinks. An A-Team knockoff, you say? I watched The A-Team after this to compare and thought the only thing it has over The Losers is star power. But fuck that. Truth is, I find The Losers’ simple-mindedness and wham-bam action refreshing. No lessons and messages and all that corny shit. Just bros having fun blowing things up and shooting bad guys. Hot!
The okay: Here’s another violent whodunit thriller set in paradise. You know the type: backpackers take a road trip to a pretty but isolated place, one or two turn up dead, and then they find out the killer is not the Charles Manson-obsessed weirdo but is actually Taylor Swift. Something like that. (For a hilarious take on this, check out the 2010 splatter comedy Tucker & Dale vs Evil.) The trick for these movies to work is to keep the guessing game going for as long as needed, and then sucker punch the audience with the big reveal. In that sense, A Perfect Getaway (2009) works. But not much. Though it’s pregnant with interesting twists and turns, things took a nosedive once the big secret was revealed, and the surprise became short-lived. Still, it’s refreshing to see Milla Jovovich, as one-half of the couple on an adventure trek here, take a break from chasing post-apocalyptic zombies in those bloody Resident Evil flicks. Also Timothy Olymphant, my favorite onscreen asshole.
The awful: Just Go With It is a romcom movie with a bad com. And my heart bleeds because it stars Adam Sandler, who I like in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates (both with Drew Barrymore, incidentally). Is it me or is he really losing his mojo? I mean, Don’t Mess With the Zohan is mildly funny, Grown Ups is execrable and beyond saving even with the help of Rob Schneider, Chris Rock and Steve Buscemi (can’t believe there’s going to be a sequel!), and this one’s a total lame-o, man. Too bad because Sandler and Jennifer Aniston seem to have a good, unforced chemistry (but then again, Jennifer can have good chemistry with a slug, she’s that cool). Sandler, with all his preoccupation with poops and boobs, is creatively bankrupt here. Having Nick Swardson as his sidekick only makes things worse. Man, that dude has the charm and humor of a dead frog. The only surprising thing here is Nicole Kidman. Why she allowed herself to be dragged into this mess is anybody’s guess.