When I was ten, I used to have a lot of imaginary adventures with my friends. Many times we’d be army guys, stuck in some impossible situation, fighting against overwhelming odds, and, I’m embarrassed to say, there was usually a lot of overacting along the way…enter The Losers.
The latest movie by relatively unknown and unproven director Sylvan White, The Losers began in 1970 as a war comic set during WWII and then re-imagined in the ’90s with its heroes caught up in the War on Terror.
The story follows Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), leader of a Special Forces team that’s betrayed and left for dead by their handler, the faceless Max (Jason Patric), after going off mission. The team is then contacted by the beautiful and mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana) to help her find and kill Max and in return, get their lives back.
The other members of the team include Roque (Idris Elba) the second in command, Jensen (Chris Evans) the hacker, Pooch (Columbus Short) the pilot, and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) the sniper. And yes, all in all, it’s pretty much every episode of The A-Team you’ve ever seen.
What it wasn’t, was beautifully stylized, like the film version of Sin City, to match its comic book origins. It wasn’t grounded in reality, like the X-Men movies, giving its viewers some sense of the familiar from which to start. And, it wasn’t even fun to watch, which even the poorly made G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra managed.
What it was, however, was an unfulfilling, 98-minute, MTV music video that had all the creativity and vision of a group of teenage boys in a ’73 Camero.
But, it was the film’s villain that made the movie really live up to its name. Written as a ruthless, untouchable, globetrotting terrorist, Jason Patric’s performance can only be described as abysmally flimsy. The best way I can describe it is like Dennis Hopper’s performance in Waterworld, minus the talent…and Dennis Hopper.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple of bright spots in the film, mainly delivered by Saldana, Evans and Short who managed to deliver the movie’s stiff, predicable dialogue with some semblance of believability.
Although, after seeing this film, I have to admit that I’m more concerned than ever about Chris Evans taking on the mantle of Steve Rogers in the upcoming Captain America movie. I thought he might be able to pull it off, after his fairly decent performance in Push, but for this movie, he just slipped back into his annoying, Johnny-Storm approach, which relies more on his smile than any measureable acting ability.
As for The Losers, it is a movie that’s made for the lowest common denominator, which in the case of the theater I went to was approximately age ten. In the end, I suppose, the only real losers with this movie are the people who pay to see it.