By Todd Gilchrist
As a huge fan of Sylvain White’s Stomp the Yard, a surprisingly thoughtful addition to the growing legacy of urban dance movies that proliferated in recent years, I was intrigued to see what he would do next. Too often, filmmakers with even a little bit of style show a lot of promise but quickly disappear into projects that afford them plenty of visual exercise but precious little else. But it’s a testament to White’s dissatisfaction with a potential career status quo that makes The Losers, his latest film, such an effective piece of entertainment: he clearly not only wanted to bring a strong visual sense, but a measured amount of character development and genuine, coherent storytelling in order to elevate what otherwise might be a thrill ride that is forgotten by the time the credits have rolled.
Hollywood News spoke to White earlier this week via telephone to talk about the film, which is being released nationwide today. In addition to exploring his own artistic impulses, he talked about the film’s uniquely multiethnic cast, and finally hinted at what might be to come if The Losers turns out to be a box office winner.
Hollywood News: In Stomp the Yard, you managed to deliver the meat and potatoes of a dance movie but still made it about the character’s journey, and didn’t overshadow, say, the education and fellowship that the character needed to discover. In this film how did you juggle the demands of delivering action and fun and energy and yet retain the dimensionality of the characters?
Sylvain White: Well, that’s the whole bag of tricks right there. There was a multitude of challenges with this movie; the first thing that was the trickiest was to find the tone of the movie. The comic book has this great combination of action and comedy, and it’s done in kind of a unique way – it’s not Bad Boys, it’s not Lethal Weapon, it’s something different. It’s very unique in that sense, and I wanted to make sure that I was going to be able to translate that into cinematic language in the right way. That was my first task. Second, this was my first action movie, so I had to study very hard to get ready for it just like I studied very hard before making Stomp the Yard, when I studied every dance movie that had been made. For […]