Home > Vulture News > THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: J Lo Needs A ‘Back-up Plan’ For Her Big Comeback; ‘Losers’ Divides Critics

THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: J Lo Needs A ‘Back-up Plan’ For Her Big Comeback; ‘Losers’ Divides Critics

jennifer_lopez_back-up_plan

It’s been a good four years since Jennifer Lopez‘s last film, El Cantante. That was a passion project she did with her husband Marc Anthony and it was a role she had hoped to win an Oscar for. Since then, Lopez has spent time with family and eventually came out of seclusion to release a flop album that caused her record label to drop her. These days, she’s ripe for a comeback.

So what project does she choose? A lame rom-com about fertility and dating called The Back-up Plan. The title certainly lends itself to puns, so I’ll go right ahead: I hope Lopez has a back-up plan her her big comeback, because this film isn’t going to do it.

Back_Up_PlanTHE BUZZ: Awful. The only thing going for it seems to be that Lopez looks great. Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer says:

The Back-up Plan is cutesy and formulaic and has the approximate depth of a cookie sheet…

Lopez does not so much give a performance as cheerfully endure multiple wardrobe malfunctions, including bursting the seam of a dress, getting hosed down while wearing a sequined chiffon frock, and having her water break while wearing a bridesmaid’s number. The Back-up Plan requires no heavy lifting, mental or otherwise.

In The Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert echoes this sentiment:

“Jennifer Lopez has never looked better. That’s about all she does here, is look better. She is talented and deserves more than this bird-brained plot about characters who have no relationship to life as it is lived by, you know, actual people.

Sad to say that even her previous awful rom-coms such as The Wedding Planner and Monster-in-Law fared better than this one. And that means that The Back-up Plan is pretty much one of Lopez’s major career lows. Almost as low as last year’s All About Steve was for Sandra Bullock. I see a Razzie on the horizon.

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The Losers sounds like a teen comedy about a group of defiant nerds starring a Napoleon Dynamite-type character, but it’s far from that. The plot centers around a group of men in a U.S. Special Forces unit as they seek revenge against the inside man who betrayed them on a search-and-destroy mission in Bolivia (sounds similar to Robert Rodriguez‘s Machete). Losers features the likes of Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans and Jason Patrick, who hasn’t been in a high profile project for a while.

the_losersIn an interview with Collider, director Sylvain White talks about adapting The Losers from the comic series created by Robert Kanigher and later continued by Andy Diggle:

“For me, it was simple. I heard about the project, and I read the screenplay, and I read all the volumes of the graphic novel, and I just fell in love with it. I’d been looking for something like this for like three years. I found this, and I jumped on it. I just had to do it. For me, it was like a brilliant opportunity because of the tone of the source material. It was a chance to do a really good adaptation of a comic book and stay true to the source comic book without veering off and making it too Hollywood or something like that.

THE BUZZ: Hit or miss. It has the critics divided. In The Wall Street Journal, John Anderson writes:

An aptly titled, grossly overdone big-screen adaptation of a DC Comics publication, it is, as though we needed it, another symptom of where we’re going cinematically, and a movie that takes bilious joy in its own soullessness. In addition to all else, and it’s a lot, The Losers wastes the riches of Hollywood technology in hot pursuit of nothing.

Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune had more fun with it — but just barely. He writes:

A B-minus edition of The A-Team, the comic book adaptation The Losers drags you down to its level at gunpoint with its drooling fetishization of weaponry, its focus on Zoe Saldana in wee shorts, various and sundry assassinations designed with gamers in mind and more rabid mistrust of the U.S. government and its freedom-destroying institutions than you’d find at a tea party fundraiser…

Director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) doesn’t edit action scenes so much as turn each micro-beat into a trading card with a fireball in the background. For all its insidious slickness — the deeply saturated, massively bright imagery comes courtesy of cinematographer Scott Kevan — the film is easier to take than, say, Kick Ass or V for Vendetta, both of which came to the screen saddled with misguided pretentions. No pretentions here.

Hmm. Sounds like it’d be good as a double bill with one of the Transformers flicks.

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