The Losers is a relatively low-budget movie adapted from a relatively obscure comics series. It’s packed with action of a PG variety and set up by a CIA operation that not only goes wrong but takes out twenty-five Bolivian children. That last part, staged by a CIA ghost called Max [Jason Patric], was supposed to kill the team that marked a drug lord’s compound as well, but the doomed chopper couldn’t carry them and the kids and they stayed behind. Naturally, Max has arranged for them to be blamed for the kids’ deaths.
Between the deaths of the children and the realization that Max had planned to take them out as well, there’s plenty of reason for the team to seek vengeance. And so we are introduced to The Losers: Clay [Jeffrey Dean Morgan], ops command; Roque [Idris Elba], demolition and tactical; Cougar [Oscar Jaenada], the laconic specialist in long-range eliminations; Jensen [Chris Evans], communications and tech and Pooch [Columbus Short], transportation and heavy weapons.
An intriguingly beautiful woman named Aisha [Zoe Saldana] approaches Clay and the fighting as foreplay exchange during which they get to know each other burns down his hotel. Volatile, indeed. But Aisha has a plan – and money to bankroll it – to get The Losers back to the U.S. and take down Max [although I haven’t read the comics, I have to wonder if Max might not be Max Lord…]. Despite Roque’s objections, Clay and the others decide to give it a shot.
Naturally, things go very wrong before they go very right. There’s even a set up for a possible sequel.
Peter Berg [Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights] and James Vanderbilt [The Rundown, Zodiac]adapt the from the Vertigo Comics series written by Andy Diggle and it’s a stripped down action flick of the sort that feature lots of shooting, lots of quips and lots of stuff getting blowed up real good. Sylvain White [Stomp the Yard] directs with style – lots of smash cuts, jump cuts and pans and such, but all in service of propelling the movie forward with panache.
The Losers looks good, zips right along and holds your attention. It’s loud – but not ponderous – fun. It has no pretensions – no desire to deconstruct, reconstruct or post-modernize. It has only one desire: to entertain an audience for an hour-and-a-half. That it does.
Final Grade: B+