Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cinewise Character Deathmatch - The Losers vs. The A-Team

They were military badasses set up or left for dead. They were bent on proving their innocence and getting their revenge. They crack jokes and but heads, but still no how to kick ass as a team. They feel an obligation to help those in needs, and to destroy evil men. And they do that latter part amongst big explosions and rocket launching bad-asses at The Port of Los Angeles.

The Losers. The A-Team. Two movies of the same blood. The A-Team is the better flick. But if this were a street fight or, say, a Cinewise Character Deathmatch, which team would you bet on?


Round One – The Leader. In The A-Team’s corner, Liam Neeson’s Hannibal. And for The Losers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Clay.

Loves – Cigars, old-fashioned American values, and when a plan comes together.

Reaction to betrayal – yelling “this is an outrage, this is an outrage” over and over again until the CIA helps break him out of prison.

Most Bad-Ass Moment – removing the firing pin from his gun, knowing that the man who wants to kill him will choose not to use his own gun, and will then send in vicious dogs to eat him alive, then using the firing pin to escape his handcuffs, embarrass the dogs and run across the desert to convince a random stranger to let him use his van to rescue his partner in the nick of time, and then drive them all to the mentally unstable pilot who will be able to fly them upside down and across the American border to safety. Plan = came together.

Capability Factor – no, this guy isn’t the least bit lucky

Number of Bad Guys personally dispatched – Zero?

Loves – nice suits, volatile broads

Reaction to betrayal – getting drunk and watching cock fights until a volatile broad breaks him out of his stupor.

Most Bad-Ass Moment – commencing a violent sexy tango of mass destruction with a volatile broad, seducing her with his physical force and Grey’s Anatomy charm tactics while the hotel burns down around them.

Capability Factor – Well, he beat up that broad pretty good. And those women can be awfully tricky, what with their smiles and their sex and their volatility.

Number of Bad Guys personally dispatched – More than zero.

Advantage – Push. Hannibal’s plans usually come together, but only because he’s the luckiest sonofabitch ever. Sooner or later, that lucks runs out, and probably while his teammate’s on the receiving end of a bullet. Meanwhile, Clay is highly susceptible to volatile women and spends his free time haunting Seattle hospitals. If I have to pick one of these dudes to be the leader, I’m flying solo.

Round Two – The Pretty Boys. For The Losers, Chris Evans’ Jensen. For The A-Team, Bradley Cooper’s Face.


Loves – tight shirts, bad haircuts, and his niece’s peewee soccer team

Reaction to Betrayal – sleep with senoritas, pout about missing soccer games

Favorite Band – Journey. But probably because he heard them on The Hills.

Sex Factor – wows random elevator women with his Under Armor skivvies

Success in the field – he gets saved. He gets caught. He gets shot. And he’s about to get his ass kicked by the peewee ref before the credits save him. But he’s a pretty nifty runner.


Loves – smiling, getting tan, drinking beer and Steely Dan. Oh, and sex.

Reaction to Betrayal – get tan, have sex with his prison guard, get tanner

Favorite Band – Steely Dan

Sex Factor – spends half the movie shirtless, blinding you with his abs. Beds prison guard, the wife of a Mexican mercenary and Jessica Biel (prorated).

Success in the Field – takes over planning duty from team leader, succeeds (and renders team leader useless)

AdvantageThe A-Team. The guy treats prison like a four-star hotel, with room service (wink wink, nudge nudge, high-five hey-oh!). A real American hero.

Round Three – The Tough Guy. The Losers pushes out Oscar Jaenada’s Cougar to face the A-Team’s B.A. Baracus, aka Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.


Fights With – a sniper rifle.

Nickname Sounds Like - a horny middle-aged woman

Touchy Hang-up – don’t touch the hat! Or someone else might give me an opportunity to paw at you!


Fights With – his fists, bitch.

Nickname Sounds Like – a degree…in rampaging.

Touchy Hang-up – flying with crazy people. Understandable, really.

AdvantageThe A-Team. Cougar “about to be unconscious” (hey! I didn’t write it!)

Round Four – The Transportation.

Let’s just save some time here. Sharlto Copley’s Murdock is incredibly hilarious and incredibly talented. Columbus Short’s character is like a yappy little puppy dog, and I typed that before looking up his character’s name and learning it was Pooch.

AdvantageThe A-Team. This one’s looking like an easy win…but wait! We still have…

Round Five – The Hot Girl.  For The Losers, Zoe Saldana’s Aisha. And for The A-Team, Jessica Biel’s Lt. Charisa Sosa.


Mental Baggage – Dead daddy. Pretty heavy stuff.

Weapons Ability – can use a hand-gun, a machine gun, a rocket launcher…

Hot Factor – she’s got that whole “hanging loose, deciding whether she should shoot your or sleep with you” thang goin on. Plus, she’s volatile.

Sweetest Move – That whole hotel room brawl thing was pretty sweet.

Charisa (what the hell kinda name is Charisa?)

Mental Baggage – obsession with being as tough and talented as any man (Ugh! Men! Right?)

Weapons Factor – can walk very sternly with her gun aimed but her finger off the trigger

Sweetest Move – slips her man the tongue…and the key to his cuffs (his heart?).

Hot Factor – the uptight business girl. Whether that means cargos and a bullet proof vest or a suit-skirt and stilettos, this girl is just itching to break free with the bad boy she’s chasing.

AdvantageThe Losers! There’s still some fight left!

Round Six – The Villain. For The A-Team, Patrick Wilson’s C.I.A. spy Lynch. And for The Losers, Jason Patric’s super-secret spy guy Max.


Devious Plan – steal money-printing plates so the C.I.A. can bankroll itself. I think.

Does his plan make sense? – nope.

Keeps a hot assistant around – for viewing pleasure

Instability Factor – he’s a jock jonesing for power. So relatively run of the mill.


Devious Plan – blow up the Port of Los Angeles so his nameless American agency can sweep in to restore order to the world.

Does his plan make sense? – nope.

Keeps a hot assistant around – for shooting pleasure.

Instability Factor – he walks around in a white suit and a Michael Jackson glove. He blows up islands. He shoots people for allowing the wind to blow his umbrella away. This guy is fucking nuts.

Advantage The Losers. Max is just a zanier version of Lynch, and thus becomes a more interesting and intimidating killer. And that makes it…

3-2 in favor of the A-Team. A nice comeback in the end, but I think the writing was on the wall for this one. I mean, As vs Losers? How could this have gone any other way?

It’s official. Better characters. Better movie. The Losers got nothing on the real thing.

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