Movie ReviewsRating: 4 of 5 yaps
A solid if unspectacular comic book flick, “The Losers” is more caper than cape, but is enjoyable just the same.
Based on the DC comic book, “Losers” is something of an A-Team ripoff (or homage, depending on how you look at things), where a to-secret, off-the-radar black-ops-type of superteam or mercenaries does hits for hire.
Jensen (Chris Evans) is the computer expert, Pooch (Columbus Short) is the gadget man, Roque (Idris Elba) is the muscle, Cougar (Oscar Jaenada) is the sharpshooter, and Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is the leader.
When a job goes bad, the Losers set out to find the guy who screwed them over, the mysterious Max (Jason Patric). With the aid of Aisha (Zoe Saldana), they circle Max like vultures until they finally can move in for the kill.
The movie is one action-film cliche after another, from slo-mo explosions to tough guys with a smarmy comment for every impossible-to-survive situation (and a knack for getting out of said conundrums with nary a scratch…well, sometimes a scratch or two).
It’s casting that would allow this film to sink or swim, and swim it does with a tremendous lineup. Short was impressive on the short-lived TV series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” but has toiled the past couple of years in sub-standard comedies. It’s good to see him in what hopefully is a breakout role.
Evans is the comedy heavy here, and is comfortable and entertaining in that role. He also has an impressive array of t-shirts in this film (and no, that’s not the most interesting thing about his character, just a fun aside).
Elba (TV’s “The Wire”) and Morgan (“Watchmen”) have an odd love/hate chemistry that works well that especially suits them as the film progresses, and Saldana is solid again (and with “Star Trek,” “Avatar,” “Death at a Funeral” and this, who has been busier over the past year?).
Patric hams it up as the villain but seems bored at times; he’s a little too nonsequitur and droll when he should have turned up the volume a bit.
Director Sylvain White (“Stomp the Yard”) creates a fun sense of style, employing comic book drawings to open and close the film and a neat little setting identifier that blends into the scenery as the locations change.
Still, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before here. Guys and girls shooting cool guns, gadgets, explosions galore, cars, sneaking into buildings (and blowing them up), twists and turns, betrayals and redemption. We’ve seen it done better, but we’ve also seen it much, much worse.
We still have a few weeks before “Iron Man 2″ kicks off the summer season officially, but “Losers” will hold you over just fine until then.