By Dave Campbell | April 23, 2010
Director: Sylvain White
Writer: Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Andy Diggle (comic book)
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Óscar Jaenada, Jason Patric
The Losers, introduces us to an elite five member United States Special Ops team (Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar) who have been deployed to the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. After going against their orders to save children who are in the line of their operation, the team finds themselves the victim of betrayal from inside the CIA by a powerful rogue agency head who goes by the name Max.
The Losers fake their own demise to escape being framed for what transpires and plan to even the score by tracking down Max. Just as they get their plans together to head back to the states a mysterious and alluring operative named Aisha, confronts Clay claiming to know how to find Max. The Losers quickly becomes a revenge tale, as the team is now presumed dead and can slips into America under the radar set to clear their names and take out Max. When they’re not riffing on each other The Losers work together to stay one step of Max and his right hand who are hell bent on using new technology to frame countries of terrorism against the U.S, and start a global war. So now the team is tasked with saving the world while they reclaim their own good names.
Jeffery Dean Morgan seems to have upped the caloric intake since Watchmen for the role of Clay. I didn’t read the comic, so I’m not sure how lazy his character is supposed to be, but he kind of phoned this one in. Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek) continues to impress the eyes as Aisha, but lacks the depth of her previous roles. The one and only (upcoming) Captain America himself, Chris Evans (Sunshine, Fantastic Four) plays another wiseass role as Jensen, which is fairly similar to his previous Johnny Storm / Human Torch role. Regardless of this, he manages to be a highlight of the film and one of the few developed characters with story and provides many of the best lines and much of the comedy relief.
Idris Elba (The Wire, RocknRolla) as Roque doesn’t really use his talents that fans of his previous work will expect. Columbus Short (Quarantine) as Pooch and Oscar Jaeneda (Che: Part Two) as Cougar are pretty much filler characters used to complete the team with hollow personalities and little to drive the story. Then there is Jason Patric (The Lost Boys, Narc) as Max…wow he has some awesome moments and dialogue, but it’s as if he really belongs in a different movie than everyone else. Patric is hands down the most compelling piece of this jumbled puzzle, but he just seems out of place in the overall scheme of things.
Director Sylvain White (best known for Stomp the Yard), creates a film that displays bursts of small enjoyment surrounding a generic version of the A-Team, in all too familiar situations. With a screenplay penned by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt that is based upon characters published by DC Comics/Vertigo Comics The Losers so wants to be the next Smokin’ Aces or Guy Ritchie film, but misses the mark on fulfilling a character driven story that maintains cohesive development and style.
Go see KIck-Ass, and if you’ve already seen it…see it again.