Director: Sylvain White
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, ZoŽ Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, ”scar Jaenada, Jason Patric, Holt McCallany
MPAA Rating: (for sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality and language)
Running Time: 1:38
Release Date: 4/23/10
Review by Mark Dujsik | April 22, 2010
in that unfortunate realm of entertainment, The
Losers does nothing special in all-too familiar ways. It is so disposable, in fact, that merely a plot summary should suffice.
ragtag group of former black ops members seek revenge against the man who ruined
is everything anyone needs to know about The
Losers, and from there, those same people can more than likely assume
correctly just about every element, plot point, and characterization that will
they will know that the team consists of diverse personalities with their own
specialty and brand of taking action.
the leader. His name is Clay
(Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He's the
no-nonsense type, a gruff and tough guy with a lot of scruff, whose idea of
cleaning up is to throw on a suit (sans tie, naturally) that looks to have been
curled up in a ball underneath his pillow. He
seems strict, but it's only hiding his true feelings of camaraderie and
dedication to the men over whom he serves.
his second, a tough-as-nails badass named Roque (Idris Elba). Roque, by the way, is a sport with balls and a mallet (the type Jack
Torrance used in Stephen King's book to try to kill his family at the
Overlookójust for more trivia). Certainly
the name is appropriate. He doesn't
even take crap from Clay. He likes
his team but his individuality and freedom more, which makes him the rogue,
which in certain fonts looks like, but should not be mistaken for, his name or
the game that inspired it.
jokester of the squad is Jensen (Chris Evans), who also serves as its operative
with thespian leanings, disguising himself as a courier, an elevator
exhibitionist, and a tech guy in just one mission. He's the Face to the Losers'
A-Team. He's also their computer expert, which saves on payroll costs.
(Columbus Short) is the driver, with a pregnant wife at home who believes he's
dead, and Cougar (”scar Jaenada) is their quiet sniper who excels at being
all supposed to be dead, after a mission in Bolivia to exterminate a drug lord
goes terribly wrong, leaving a helicopter full of children dead. They were meant to be in the chopper, and Max (Jason Patric), a CIA
honcho, wanted them dead for messing with his evil scheme.
the mysterious Aisha (ZoŽ Saldana), who offers to help the Losers get revenge. Max has even more evil schemes in store for them to unravel; this time it
involves a bomb that makes an entire island disappear into itself. His plans are evil, but as played by Patric, he's more an irritating jerk
than a malevolent mastermind.
Losers have their missions, fights, and shootouts, which are over-the-top and
unbelievable, with the latter winning out more often than not. Upon their first meeting, Clay and Aishia get into a bare-knuckle brawl
in a hotel room, alternating poses between pain and foreplay. The entire room spontaneously catches fire for no apparent reason beyond
the supposed stylishness of two people fighting in a room that's ablaze.
opening sequence of the squad's mission in Bolivia sets the stylized tone, as
shot enemies instantly enter freeze frame, rapid edits showcase proficiency with
technique and lose the sense of things as they happen, and the Losers outrun a
massive fireball in a school bus full of kids.
Sylvain White substitutes excess for involvement, and even has a scene of the
sextet walking toward the camera in slow motion. That's an annoyance, but worse are a heist in broad daylight on a busy
street, during which Clay and Roque fire weapons about 100 feet away from armed
guards who never notice, and the final confrontation at the Port of Los Angeles,
during which Pooch miraculously heals from gunshot wounds to the legs and a
motorcycle appears in a crate only for the purpose of using it later on.
main issue is that the context of slam-bang but hollow action completely
overshadows the content of a ragtag squad. Each
of the members, even in their prototypical form, has a certain charm. Part of it is familiarity, and another is
casting. The actors play these parts with teeth, while the movie serves to
systematically pull them.
Copyright © 2010 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.
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