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The Losers

2010 action-comedy based on the comic book published by Vertigo.

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Vengeance is Theirs

  • Apr 23, 2010
"The Losers" has been released on the heels of "Kick-Ass," a comic book adaptation that audiences love and will probably always prefer. That's a shame. "The Losers" is, in my view, a winner - vastly superior as an action spectacle, a comedy, a character study, and above all, a story. This means that, while it certainly revels in all manner of fun comic book violence, it also has the ambition to be about more than violence; we're engaged because we're actually being told something. I left the theater feeling not empty and sad, as I had with "Kick-Ass," but energized, entertained, and satisfied instead. This is how the movies are supposed to make you feel, right? For the first time in what felt like ages, I was confident that I had gotten my money's worth.

Based on the comic book series created by Andy Diggle, "The Losers" begins in Bolivia, where we find five tough CIA agents on a mission to take out a ruthless drug lord at his compound. They are: Jake Jensen, a hacker (Chris Evans); "Cougar" Alvarez, a long-distance sniper (Oscar Jaenada); "Pooch" Porteous, the pilot (Columbus Short); William Roque, the second in command (Idris Elba); and the team leader, Franklin Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). When the mission goes wrong and ends in the death of twenty-five innocent children, our five men realize that they've been set up by a mysterious figure known only as Max and vow to have their revenge. They're no longer CIA - they're the Losers.

They've officially been declared dead in the U.S., leaving them stranded in Bolivia without money or a way to get home. Then along comes Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who repeatedly proves she isn't quite what she seems; she meets Clay as he dines on steak in a seedy dive, and although she comes onto him in the least subtle of ways, their retreat to his hotel room doesn't end the way one would expect. Long story short: She claims she knows where Max is and can get the Losers home. Clay is immediately taken with her. Pooch, Cougar, and Jensen are willing to go along with her. Roque, however, isn't convinced, nor is he sold on the idea of revenge against Max. All he wants to do is get out of the game and live the rest of his life.

And speaking of Max (Jason Patric), he never seems to be in the same place twice, always travelling around the world making deals with shady people for his own equally shady purposes. What is his scheme? Let's just say that it involves one of the coolest terrorist weapons ever conceived of for a comic book adaptation. How fitting for a man with the most extraordinary sense of humor, always with the sarcasm, the dry wit, and the homicidal tendencies (God forbid the wind should accidentally blow aside an umbrella if you're holding it over his head). Funny and oh so bad, Max is the most deliciously evil movie villain since Colonel Hans Landa from "Inglourious Basterds."

Great humor can also be found amongst the Losers, especially Jensen, who, despite not having seen her for some time, is devoted to his niece and her school's Soccer team. I particularly enjoyed a scene in which he must improvise a way to escape the security guards in a Miami office building; with a little help from Cougar, he pretends to have telekinetic abilities, which he says gives him the ability to shoot bullets with nothing but his pointed fingers. He seems to enjoy Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," and so too does director Sylvain White, seeing as he strategically has it playing during some of the more intense actions sequences. You'd think it would be a horrible fit, but no - it's actually quite amusing.

And as for Clay and Aisha, not only are they a pleasure to look at, their subplot is also very intriguing, probably because both are troubled characters with goals in mind, neither able to reach them without the other one's help. I know it's an awfully overused critical observation, but it's true: Morgan and Saldana have great onscreen chemistry, not merely as love interests, but also as occasional adversaries. In some ways, that's even harder to achieve; it takes more effort for actors to fight well than to love well, probably because fighting is generally more realistic.

What fun this movie is. There aren't enough like them these days. Sure, you can spend your money on "Kick-Ass," but I think you'd be doing yourself a great disservice. "The Losers" is proof that even comic book adaptations can successfully be more than mean and mindless depictions of violence. Yes, there's plenty of action, but there's also a plot, and it involves characters who are not only magnetic, but are also given some depth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the film's final sequences, both of which display a goofy sweetness I found very appealing. Obvious work went into the screenplay. Obvious work went into the whole film. When movies like this come around, it makes me wonder why many other comic filmmakers don't try a little harder.

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March 11, 2011
I really liked this one as well, excellent review.
More The Losers reviews
review by . August 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Losers Make a Decent
While watching the movie version of The Losers, the striking similarities between "The A-Team" and "The Losers" were difficult to ignore.  Both feature a rag-tag group of elite special forces teams that are trying to clear their names for crimes they didn't commit.  For fun, here is a little Wiki comparison:      The A-Team:   Lt. Col.  John "Hannibal" Smith - Their leader whose plans tend to be unorthodox but …
review by . March 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     People often get the interpretation that EVERY Hollywood action film is generic, noisy, violent, and messy to the core; all in a very bad way. I too believe such a thing, and I've seen too many bad-mediocre action flicks to be surprised when every single one around the corner turns out to be forgettable or even horridly convoluted. So out of the blue comes this little movie called "The Losers", which is based upon a comic book series of the same name. This …
review by . April 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Hollywood is going to run out of comic books to adapt into the big screen at the pace it is going. I’ve never seen such persistence in bringing the comic book characters to life; pretty soon Hollywood filmmakers will have their eyes more at adapting Japanese anime with the predicted projects “Robotech” and “Cowboy Bebop”. Well, before they do run out of material from American comic books, director Sylvain White brings the Vertigo comics’ “The …
review by . April 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
When Alex Proyas adapted the independent comic book "The Crow" to the screen it was one of the few and the only other big comic book adaptation of the 90's. The other being the widely popular Batman films  that came out from   1992-1997(One directed by Tim Burton, two directed by Joel Schumacher.) but  since "The Crow"  massive commercial  and critical success   no other independent comic book has stepped up to the plate to fill the …
Quick Tip by . April 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A cool, slick and ultra stylish action comedy that works better than it should and plays better than you would expect. Sylvian White's "The Losers" is a quick witted, sharp, fast paced and extremely enjoyable action-comedy that infuses the best of both genres to create a stylish and a very cool  movie.
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #2
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Poster art for "The Losers."

(from Wikipedia)
The Losers is an upcoming action film, and an adaptation of Vertigo and DC Comics' comic book series of the same name. Directed by Sylvain White, the film features an ensemble cast that includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans. The Losers opened in America on April 23, 2010.

Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar are members of an elite United States Special Forces team sent into the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. They attempt to abort the mission when they see children are being used as drug mules. The team, find themselves the target of a betrayal instigated from inside by a powerful enemy known only as Max. With an air strike minutes away the team breach the compound and rescue the children. The team allow the children to be airlifted to safety aboard a waiting helicopter but it is destroyed by a missile intended for them. Presumed dead and without passports or money the team are stuck in Bolivia. The group makes plans to even the score when they're joined by the mysterious Aisha, a beautiful operative with rather sly moves. Together they track and follow the ruthless and heavily armed and guarded Max to foil his plans of transforming the world as we know it into a new high-tech global battleground. Aisha agrees to smuggle the men back into the United States if they agree to hunt down and kill Max in what she describes as essentially a suicide mission. An operation to intercept and capture Max in ...

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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: April 23, 2010
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment
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"Vengeance is Theirs"
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