Finally, a comic book movie that embraces its inner cartoon in The Losers.
The problem with many comic book adaptations is that they take themselves too darn seriously, in the process either zapping the fun from the screen or, worse, succumbing to the sadistic amorality of Kick Ass.
What makes The Losers work is that it knows it’s a breezy action movie based on colourful illustrations and speech bubbles, and delivers on that self awareness.
The result is a fine actioner featuring crowd pleasing good guys v. boo worthy bad guys, with plenty of PG flesh, gun play, snarky double crosses, and not a whiff of pretentiousness.
So who are The Losers? Remember those ‘80s action films that featured a group of elite soldiers, with each member master of a specific skill (Predator, Aliens)? Same applies here.
There is Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the leader of the group whose penchant for dangerous women often gets him in sticky situations; second in command Roque (Idris Elba); tech head and resident jokester Jensen (Chris Evans); transport and weapons specialist Pooch (Columbus Short); and enigmatic sniper Cougar (Oscar Jaenada).
The film opens with the troop framed and assumed dead after a covert operation goes awry, the work of sociopathic CIA operative Max (Jason Patric). In forced exile, they are given a chance by the mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana) to reclaim their lives and attain revenge, a proposition which proves to good to pass up.
The rest of the plot is irrelevant, since the strength of The Losers is not found in its script, but in its execution, with its slick production value coupled with Sylvian White’s steady direction giving way to fun action set pieces and performances by its well chosen ensemble cast.
Especially good is Jason Patric as one of the years more memorable villains in Max, hitting the right loose vibe while stealing the movie with his off kilter improvisations and sharp dialogue.
A throwback to good times at the cinema, The Losers are anything but.