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What happens when the baddest black ops team in the US military gets betrayed? They get even in a big way, that’s what. The Losers is a film about five members of a black-ops military squad: Clay (Jeffery Dean Morgan) the team leader, Roque (Idris Elba) Clay’s right hand man and voice of reason, Jensen (Chris Evans) the jokester tech guy, Pooch the vehicle specialist, and Cougar the team’s sniper. The film opens with the squad on a mission in Bolivia. The objective is simple enough: mark a complex for fighter jets to bomb. Complications arise when the team notices there are children inside the complex. When they call in an abort they are told the mission is still a go by a mysterious voice only known as Max and are forced to race against time to rescue all 25 children inside, putting them in direct violation of their orders. When the helicopter that was supposed to extract them is blown to bits by a US fighter jet, the Losers know that they are now on the other side of the law. Blamed for the bombing in Bolivia and presumed as dead in the helicopter explosion, the team must find a way back in to the US and exact revenge against Max.
Whew, did I expect the wrong thing going into this movie. I really thought I was going to be getting balls-out action with some comedy thrown in for good measure. What I got was still great, just different than I expected. A movie more funny than action packed, The Losers somehow manages to be both total comedy and balls-out action movie. The unquestionable star of the show is Evans. His portrayal of Jensen is downright hilarious and he commands what is easily the most memorable scene of the movie. Morgan’s Clay is as cool as they come in every scene he’s in and is completely believable as the team’s leader, bringing confidence and hope to the left-for-dead and outlawed Losers.
Complementing the wealth of comedy in the movie are some great action sets worthy of the title “adrenaline-infused.” I think the real winner is the chemistry between the team members, which just seems natural and real; you get the feeling that these guys are like a tight-knit family, which ups the ante when the climax of the film comes around. Do I really need to mention that Zoe Saldana was beautiful? What I didn’t know, however, is that this woman can throw down. Somehow she manages to hold her own in a wall-breaking, slam-down fist fight with Clay and can even pull off the action-movie staple of firing two guns whilst diving through the air. So we have great writing, white-knuckle action and a great cast (almost … more on that in a second), so what could there possibly be to complain about? Well not much to be honest and nothing that ruins the fun of the film, but I’ve got a few notes for you.
As mentioned, the cast was almost great. The downside was the villain Max (Jason Patric). A parody of every Bond villain and evil businessman cliché there is, Max tries to be funny and menacing but fails at both. I just didn’t buy what he was selling. His lines came off more like they were meant for a not-as-humorous version of Dr. Evil than the character we were seeing on screen. This made any attempt at him appearing threatening completely fall off. Never was I worried about this guy besting the Losers in battle or really even outsmarting them, though he does at one point. Also a problem for me was the weapon that served as the focal point for the second half of the film. Max’s grand plan is to buy “Snukes,” which are basically the opposite of a nuke and instead of exploding suck in anything in their path. They disappear, causing only tornadoes and a mild thunderstorms instead of nuclear fallout. To add to that ridiculous premise, the damn things look like over-sized egg timers. Basically, anything involved with the bad-guy element of this movie was sub-par.
The Losers make up for having such a pathetic villain with an equally stupid evil plan, thanks to the good guys. I haven’t had so many snort-inducing laughs in an action movie since god knows when. Do you like seeing stuff blow up? How about bad guys being blasted by sub-machine gun fire? Knock-down hand to hand combat? If you answered yes to any of these questions than The Losers is the movie for you this weekend. I would love to see these guys all together again for a sequel so make sure and get your butts to the box office this weekend and catch The Losers, I can guarantee a good time and will bet you never listen to “Don’t Stop Believing” the same way again.
Directed by Sylvain White
Written by Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt, Andy Diggle (characters)
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Chris Evans
Other Player Affinity Reviews:
Simon thought: “The Losers is the type of film where characters get shot in the legs, grimace a bit and barely bleed; the type of film where a gang of hardened special ops soldiers strut a line in slow motion; the type of film where an armored car is hijacked with a helicopter. So, why is The Losers so much fun? Because it knows it’s that kind of film. This comic book adaptation is preposterous, yes and wallows in its self-aware clichés, sometimes to its own detriment. However the cast is so strong, exhibiting sizzling chemistry, and it is surrounded by entertaining and frequent action even though it is hard not to overlook its faults.” Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.0/10