The Losers

Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Chris Evans, Columbus Short, Jason Patric | PG-13 |

REVIEWED BY ALYNDA WHEAT

ACTION

Ever see a school bus outrace a fireball in a Bolivian jungle? A Hummer or a helicopter, sure, but a big yellow bus? That’s panache. Based on a comic-book series about super commandos, Losers earns cool points by tweaking the cartoonishly violent action genre. The one-named supervillain, the lethal seductress, the compulsion to make things go boom-they’re all here. Even the mission is familiar: The guys hunt evil Max (Jason Patric), funded by sexy Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who’s pursuing her own agenda. The freshness comes from Sylvain White’s kinetic direction of Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt’s humor-heavy script. Evans and Short deliver the funny, while Morgan and Elba prove action stars can also have acting chops. A word of caution: Ignore the glaring plot holes or you’ll fall right in.

Death at a Funeral

Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Luke Wilson | R |

COMEDY

The less you know the guest of honor, the better the funeral. Death soars because the stiff’s own relatives don’t know him either. Aaron (Rock) just wants to send his late father off with dignity, but his gratingly successful brother Ryan (Lawrence) is ducking the bills, while a stranger (Peter Dinklage, reprising his role from the ’07 British original) bares shocking photos of Daddy. Morgan and Wilson make a bizarrely effective buddy pairing, but the comedic revelation is Marsden. He elevates an accidental acid trip to slapstick opera.

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