The Losers and The A-Team: Why see two movies this summer when you can see the same one twice?

So I saw the A-Team last week. A few weeks before that, I saw the Losers. Now, I like movies of this sort (“this sort” being ridiculous, over the top action movies), but I still can’t quite get over how dumb it was for Hollywood to release these two movies the same year. They are basically the same movie. Sure, some of the particulars are different, they have different actors, but nonetheless. They have the same basic plot: small unit of US military special forces are screwed over by a particular CIA agent and set off on a mission to clear their names and get revenge. They have the same exact villain: a smarmy, manipulative, and annoying CIA agent who acts a lot like a dude-bro frat guy. Max is more annoying than Lynch, but it’s a close thing. And the climax of both movies takes place on the LA docks, which is truly astounding. Both involved a lot of shipping containers and a fair number of explosions that seemed to stretch credibility even for me, in that the protagonists really just wouldn’t have come out unscathed, and I have a high tolerance for such things.

This is bad enough, but in another month or two, they’re releasing The Expendables, which will be another slightly humorous over the top action flick. Judging by the trailers, it won’t be quite so carbon copy a plot; it’s about a mercenary unit, not a betrayed US military unit, but it’s still pretty close.  How does Hollywood do things like this, exactly? Last summer it was three different movies with the number nine in the title in someway. This year, three very very similar action flicks. What the hell, Hollywood?

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