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The Losers (2010) **1/2

April 23, 2010

Written by: Andy Diggle (characters), Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt (story)

Produced by: Kerry Foster, Akiva Goldsman and Joel Silver

Directed by: Sylvain White

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality and language

98 min.

U.S. Release Date: April 23, 2010

Up-and-coming director Sylvain White – director of “Stomp the Yard” – rallies together a troop of little known and under-celebrated actors for the new action-thriller “The Losers”.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada and Zoe Saldana team up as the haggard bunch of CIA black ops soldiers on a revenge mission.  Based on a comic book, “The Losers” is an international action film with an abundance of exciting set pieces.  Amidst the tidal wave of comic book adaptations and action films that have already recently released and those on the way, will “The Losers” hold its own with the likes of “Kick-Ass”, “Iron Man 2” and “Robin Hood” looming?

A small government black ops group called “The Losers” is running a mission to take down a known drug lord in Bolivia when they get sabotaged and left for dead.  Assumed dead and framed for the murder of 25 Bolivian children, the military men must live as ghosts while solving who is behind their framing and plot their revenge.  In Bolivia, the group runs into a mysterious woman named Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who is looking for Max (Jason Patric) – the man “The Losers” believe to have sabotaged their mission.  Aisha has mysterious connections that can get “The Losers” back into the United States and at Max’s doorstep in no time.

In a goose chase that takes the crew from Bolivia to Miami to Los Angeles, “The Losers” leave a trail of fire in their tracks that proves to be great enjoyment for the audience.  From a shootout with kinetic mind bullets (which ends up being quite funny) to stealing a truck with a helicopter and a magnet, “The Losers” brings plenty of great action to the table.

The acting in this film is extremely hit or miss.  Chris Evans proves to be great fun as Jensen, the team’s hacker, who is fully equipped with spiky hair, frosted tips, nerd glasses, and an odd chin beard.  Evans elaborates on his annoying performance as Johnny Storm in the “Fantastic Four” films with a performance that was eerily similar, but this time it worked.  Jason Patric as the super-villian Max, on the other hand, was a ham-fest worthy of my Annual Anthony Hopkins Acting Award.  While it was funny seeing Patric play a role so outside of his usual, the poor dialogue and 1980s feel of his character made those scenes annoying enough to cast a bad cloud over the entire film.

The performances given by the rest of the cast were what I was expecting; all fun and nothing too serious.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan (also seen as “The Comedian” in “Watchmen”) plays Clay, the leader of “The Losers”, and is perfectly agreeable throughout the film and not much more.  Zoe Saldana (Neytiri in “Avatar”) plays the mysterious sole female in this rowdy bunch and acts as the poster candy for the film’s marketing campaign.  It’s all so formulaic, yet the run-of-the-mill nature of this movie wasn’t annoying, but rather refreshing and entertaining.

Overall, I believe there is a place for “The Losers” in any theater’s circulation, even with all the comic book films, adaptations and action flicks out there.  You definitely know what you’re getting with this movie before you even find your seat, but that’s where it succeeds.  There are plot twists, cheesy lines, archetypal characters and great actions sequences.  Best of all, you don’t have to be a super-fan of the comic to get into this film.  As the 2010 blockbuster season quickly approaches, get a taste of summer with “The Losers” and you probably won’t be disappointed.  If you are a picky theatergoer and you don’t get out often, you may want to hold off and see it as a rental because it definitely won’t blow your mind.  All others, get out to the theater and get that “Clash of the Titans” taste out of your mouth!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 3:09 pm

    What makes The Losers such winning entertainment is its refusal to take the story or the characters too seriously, alongside a uniformly excellent cast who all step into the shallow boots of their characters with so much fun. God review, check out mine when you can!


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