Movie Review: The Losers
The Losers is the latest in the long-running onslaught of comic book adaptations, and it might be the most low-key of the crop. It may also be the most over-the-top. To call The Losers a B-movie would probably be a fair assessment, given the lack of front-line stars, tongue-in-cheek dialogue and ridiculously cheesy explosions. I’m calling this movie the “B-Team” to this summer’s uncoming A-Team movie. While that might not sound like a compliment, anyone who has watched a junior high basketball game knows the b-games are often the most fun to watch.
The cast is faced with playing a bunch of one-dimensional action movie prototypes, but they all do a good job considering the limited depth of their characters. Chris Evans (Cellular) is the wise-cracking tech geek, Idris Elba (28 Weeks Later) is the tough-guy explosives mastermind, Columbus Short (Armored) is the family man transportation expert, Oscar Jaenada does his best Danny Trejo impersonation as the silent sniper, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is their colonel. Phew! Got all that? Good. Let’s move along.
These five men are members of a special forces team who decides to abandon one of their missions when it puts 25 kids at risk. They are soon ambushed and left for dead by a demonic and eccentric villain known as Max (Jason Patric, Sleepers). Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) later enters the fold as a potentially toxic woman who presents an opportunity for the losers to exact their revenge. I’m still not sure how she knows everything she knows, but she looked really hot and I suppose that’s the most important thing.
The movie is frenetically paced, often hilarious (mostly thanks to Patric and Evans) and looks surprisingly good considering its modest $25 million budget. It’s also quite jumpy and often comes across as a collection of scenes rather than a smoothly flowing narrative. Fortunately, most of these individual scenes are pretty damn awesome. The best of which might be a Journey-scored chase scene and a relatively juicy PG-13 sex scene involving Morgan and Saldana. Speaking of the rating, the film didn’t feel watered-down at all which is quite shocking considering the violent nature of it all.
At the heart of this whole mess is a very strong performance from Morgan as the unquestioned leader with questionable leadership skills. He’s also got the worst dating record in history and is understandably scarred from being repeatedly burned by these women. He possesses a definite star quality and I hope to see his roles continue to expand.
The Losers is not a great movie, but it’s an extremely entertaining one. Drive out to your local cineplex, leave your brain in the car and I don’t see how you wouldn’t have a good time.
RIYL: Shoot ‘Em Up, Smokin’ Aces, SWAT.