THE LOSERS

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 23, 2010

Pure comic book war candy, any living, breathing human that enjoys explosions, sex, or badass gunslingers will find themselves drooling at the sequences in “The Losers.” Anchored around five United States Special Forces members framed for the deaths of a dozen innocent children in Bolivia, the story follows the team’s attempt to set the record straight. Persuaded by seductive Aisha (Zoe Saldana), all five men, each specialized in a certain area of expertise, are brought to the United States. Gunning for the man who set them up, the mysterious and no-last-named Max (Jason Patric), the team must stop him before he can purchase the latest nuclear bomb technology, called the “Snuke”, a bomb with normal warhead capabilities but absolutely no fall-out or environmental effect (the “green” bomb).

Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays frontman, Clay, the broad-shouldered leader and reliable protagonist left to make the difficult decisions. Though Morgan resembles the not-so-hero type, more like the bitter and flawed Comedian from “Watchmen,” his bodybuilder physique and chiseled facial features allow him to easily assimilate to the role.

Chris Evans is among the only other notable star in the film. As with Morgan, Evans normally comes off more cocky and arrogant, like his role in “The Fantastic Four” as The Human Torch. Having Evans, then, play the communications and technology nerd leaves one not investing in his character as quickly. “The Losers” is a textbook “blow ‘em up” romp with little to no meaningful dialogue; comparable to what I imagine the new “A-Team” will boil down to. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. The world is black and white. With the twists coming out of the blue with no foreshadowing, the story is every good vs. evil scenario ever told.

The highlights of the film come from the interactions between the main group of characters. Toss two or more of the group members together on screen and the result is entertaining. The portion straight from the trailer where Evan’s character faces off with three security guards in a windowed hallway is highly amusing and though the special effects could have been less cheesy, the attempt is still appreciated.

“The Losers” is just what you would expect from an overblown comic book adaptation action flick, full of gun-toting, trigger-happy tough guys proving their worth with impossible feats and expensive-looking explosions. Though the story is nothing new, the character interactions and fresh faces in recycled roles are at least worth a single viewing. With state-of-the-art production value, the film just barely holds your attention long enough to reach the end credits. One has to give credit to breathing life into an otherwise glazed over comic series, so kudos to that accomplishment.

RELEASE DATE
April 23, 2010

DIRECTOR
Sylvain White

WRITTEN BY
Peter Berg
James Vanderbilt

BASED ON
“The Losers”
by Andy Diggle & Jock

STUDIO
Warner Bros. Pictures

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

ACTION
ADVENTURE
CRIME
MYSTERY
THRILLER

97 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Scott Kevan

COMPOSER
John Ottman

EDITOR
David Checel

CAST
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Zoe Saldana
Chris Evans
Idris Elba
Columbus Short
Óscar Jaenada
Jason Patric

PRODUCED BY
Joel Silver
Akiva Goldsman
Kerry Foster

BUDGET
$25 million

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