When I saw The Losers a couple of weeks ago it was during the Ontario Film Review Board rating process for it, and I admit the situation was a little awkward as I was one of only four journalists in attendance, most of the other attendees were politicians. I was also placed smack in the middle of the front row, not my ideal seating scenario. Even under those circumstances though, it was a fun, action-packed popcorn movie that did a great job of keeping me entertained from beginning to end.
After members of a special U.S. task force are double-crossed by their team leader and left for dead in the Bolivian jungle, they go on a hunt to find the man, known simply as Max (Jason Patric), in order to take him out and clear their names. The team, consisting of Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) are soon joined by Aisha (Zoe Saldana), a secretive woman who appears to know a lot about the group of “Losers,” and believes she can assist them in getting back into the United States and close to Max. Her motives? Max was behind the murder of her father and she wants to see him dead just as badly as they do. The team lands on American soil and soon guns are blazing and bombs are going off.
Adapted from the Andy Diggle comic book series by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and actor Peter Berg (Hancock, Very Bad Things), The Losers relies heavily on witty dialogue and quirky scenes in order to make it work, and it succeeds on that level. Sylvain White’s direction is quite cool and hip too, and while not groundbreaking, he’s definitely made up for his hand in the straight-to-video mess I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.
The greatest part of the film though is the cast, who are so perfect I couldn’t imagine anyone else in their place. Dean Morgan, who was the only thing to like about last year’s Watchmen, was especially fitting and I hope he sticks to this genre instead of going back to romantic comedies like The Accidental Husband and P.S. I Love You. Patric also knocks one out of the park playing up the cheesy bad guy role with such a campy passion this could be the role he will always be remembered for. As the only woman, Saldana owns it, and again proves she is one of the best actresses working today.
Unlike Kick-Ass, the other recent comic book adaptation in theatres, The Losers doesn’t focus on violence to entertain and should please the 13 to 16 age group while still being mature enough for adults to get into. If you want to see a decent action flick, and have a few laughs, The Losers is worth your time and money.
*** out of 5 stars
Top image: A scene from The Losers. Courtesy Warner Bros.