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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Movie Review: The Losers (2010)

The Losers
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada, Jason Patric
Genre: Action Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $29 million

Plot: A CIA special forces team are betrayed and left for dead by their superiors, galvanising them to mount an offensive on the CIA

'This Film Is More Of A Winner For Me'

Directed by Sylvain White, The Losers is an action film in the vein of RED and The A-Team, which were also released in 2010. Like RED, The Losers is the live-action movie of the Vertigo comic book series of the same name. Going into this film, I was completely unfamiliar with the actual source material and its characters, whilst also reading this didn't do as well as The A-Team - which this film drew comparisons with - & RED. Which I found was a bit of a shame because as I was watching this, though it isn't one of the best ever action movies I've come across, I much prefer it over those two movies, which did really well at the box office, whereas with The Losers, it was overlooked by many. 

The plotline is identical to The A-Team where a group of 5 military soldiers, who in this case are Black Ops of Special Forces, are being double-crossed and set up for the killing of innocent civilian children by an arms dealer in the snarky Max, played by Jason Patric. Knowing that the missile that killed the children was targeted at them, they fake their own deaths and set out to find the man responsible for framing them & get their vengeance. Along the way, a lone, mysterious female in Aisha comes along, and she too wants a piece of Max, whilst providing the resources the team needs. Unlike The A-Team however, there are a number of things The Losers manages to get right in contrast to that film: 2 of them being a) the casting and b) the story. 

Whilst the characters are somewhat thin, it is performances by the actors that gives them credibility, some onscreen depth as well as watchability and thankfully, one isn't bombarded with boring and droning explanations and rather the film jumps straight into the action, whilst through the casting I thought it was perfect. Chris Evans knocks it out of the park and shows a different type of character that he plays, other than Captain America, whilst at the same time embracing his lighter side. The ever charismatic Jeffrey Dean Morgan - who after viewing a few of his other performances, he is starting to grow on me - pulls no punches as the fearless leader & good guy, Clay and much like with Watchmen, why he is so adept in action-based movies and deserved bigger and more movie roles. His casting as the team's leader was spot-on. Zoe Saldana was effective as Aisha, who along with Idris's Elba's Roque are both shady characters. Although one of these two are shadier than the other and I'm not revealing who. You need to tune in to find out. Columbus Short as Pooch and Oscar Jaenada as sniper, Coogar were still solid, despite their lack of screentime and they round up the team. 

The action and plot is as predictable and generic as it comes and whilst it doesn't win bonus points for being innovative, as a comic book-based non- DC and Marvel offering, The Losers is up there with Watchmen, Dark Man as comic book properties that despite their miscellaneous feel, they are living proof that they can be as good as anything the big two can offer. It also manages to not be something that it is not and doesn't pretend to be a challenging, smart film. If there is one downside, it's that the CGI wasn't that impressive and that the effects were a little overdone as they usually are in many 2000s and post-2000s action films. But for that blip, this is a fun, mindless entertaining popcorn action flick with a well-rounded cast and is occasionally witty too, partially thanks to Chris Evans as the computer hacker, Jake.

It is also efficient, full of energy that doesn't lag and with this set of ragtag heroes, The Losers is surprisingly a good addition to the action movie genre, not to mention comic based adaptation films and in all honesty is how The A-Team movie should have turned out and fared. 

Final Verdict:

The Losers deserved a follow-up sequel of sorts and the way it ended, it sort of or should have alluded to another film. I would have been up for another Losers movie. Much like with Watchmen, the casting is truly what makes it work so well, and without this aspect, it would be a miscellaneous and rather forgettable comic book-based film.  

Far more entertaining and with a solid script and more impressive main ensemble cast than say The A-Team, despite the mixed reviews, unfamiliarity with the original comics and lack of marketing, this is nonetheless, an underrated gem for me. 


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