Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Losers

When assignment goes terribly wrong Clay and his special ops team “The Losers” fake their own death and go rogue, hiding out in South America until they can find a way to take out the man that tried to kill them Max. When Aisha appears on the scene she offers The Losers a chance not only to go home, but a way to find Max an kill him.

The Losers is one in a long line of comic book adaptations, and Sylvian White does not shy away from this, even using panels from the book in the opening credits sequence. The film is funny, action packed and full of stars that I like – so it took me awhile to identify what I thought was off about the film, and I finally realized it came down to two things: the tone and the ending.

The film, like the book is an action comedy. This is something that is deceptively hard to do, especially when your main characters are basically assassins and with the exception of Joss Whedon or Phil Alden Robinson, I can’t think of many people that can do that tone really well. While I enjoyed the comedy and the action in The Losers I couldn’t shake the feeling the whole time that I was at times watching two separate films that didn’t seem to fit together very well. Then there’s Max…the villain…he needed an image and dialogue makeover because not only was he really not villainous or funny but I found him downright cheesy – straight out of a B movie.

Then there’s the ending. I understand The Losers is a series and they’re probably hoping to turn the film into a franchise if they can, but the ending bothered me. The only thing I can think to describe it is that the ending felt so intentionally open ended; there was only a half resolution and nothing was really wrapped up. On top of that there continued to be post-ending sequences over the credits – while funny, they didn’t fit.

What did work greatly about this movie was main cast. Every one of the “Losers” was cast perfectly. I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana so I am always willing to watch either of them for two hours, and in this film they both kick some major butt. Then there’s Chris Evans, also known as the new Captian America, and that man is charismatic as hell and the only one that could pull off that level of comedy, geekiness and bravado in one character.

The Losers is enjoyable. But it struck me as the popcorn of comic book movies. I almost feel as though the writers should have pulled away from the source material just a little to make sure the film felt like a complete movie, not just the first part of a series.

Director: Sylvain White
Writers: Peter Berg & James Vanderbilt
Clay: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Aisha: Zoe Saldana
Jensen: Chris Evans
Roque: Idris Elba
Pooch: Columbus Short
Max: Jason Patric
Cougar: Oscar Jaenada

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