The Losers – Film Review

The latest in the line of comic book adaptations is the Losers, the comic written by Andy Diggle, is a story of betrayal and the journey of the Losers to get their lives back and some justice on the way.

The story opens with The Losers an elite Special Forces team made up of, Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Pooch (Columbus Short), Roque (Idris Elba) and Cougar(Oscar Jaenada) in Bolivia getting ready to complete what they think will be a simple mission to take out a bad guys compound, instead they see something and try to abort the mission but is over-ridden by a mysterious voice on the other end of the radio only know as Max.

In clean up mode Max (Jason Patric) then attempts to get rid of the Losers by having their escape helicopter taken out with a missile, presumed dead since they threw their dog tags into the wreckage they are stranded in Bolivia with no identification or money and no way back home.

This is until they meet the mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who knows who they are and wants to help get them back into the United States so they can find out what Max is up to and take him down.

The Losers is a film that knows what it is and embraces it, it is filled with all the scenarios, action and gags you would expect to see from an action comedy popcorn film, but you know what, when done right that is not a bad thing at all, it can be a lot of fun.

I am happy to say that this film does it right and I had a lot of fun, the film has the right mix of action and humour that is key to this type of film. The film keeps a good pace never letting you go too long without some action, but I am not saying the scenes without all out fireworks do not have plenty to offer.

It is in the quieter scenes you get some of the best moments of story and acting, you see the great chemistry and group dynamic, the core Losers team is a team I could believe that had been around for a while and had grown to trust each other.

Nearly all the main cast give good performances, for me the weak link was Jason Patric as Max, I think he was trying for unhinged and menacing, but for me it did not work, he got unhinged but the guy was funny not menacing, apart from that this film has benefited from some great choices for the main cast.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan brings his grizzled but relaxed nature that comes with him in whatever role plays and brings Clay to life with a performance that showed he was a great pick, a man who has been emotionally damaged by recent events but would not let anything stop him from doing right by his team and getting them home.

Zoe Saldana plays Aisha tough but with a sense of sadness, the reasons for her attitude are revealed in quite an emotional moment where Salanda shows her talent, she puts a lot of emotion into very few words.

Morgan and Saldna have the all important chemistry between them, these two actors needed to click for their one to one scenes to work and they do.

Chris Evans and Columbus Short for me were the stars of the film, they are given most of the laughs in this film and make good use of them, Evans in particular is given lots of opportunity to show the comedy skills we all know he has and he does so, the telekinesis scene by a lift was a particular favourite of mine.

I am a big fan of Idris Elba, he plays his part as the tough if slightly knife obsessed second in command with efficiency, with one surprise, he plays a great straight man, on the few occasions when he used in a gag with Evans or Short they make a great pairing.

Oscar Jaenada probably had the most difficult part in the film, his character barely says a word, so it is all down to physical acting and the presence he can give to the role, thankfully he does a good job at this or else this character would have felt very secondary to the story.

The sections that were lifted from the comics did bring a smile to my face, seeing their take on the hijack scene involving the helicopter and the convoy in Miami was great to see brought to life on the big screen.

I got a kick out of the other nods to comics as well, the comic art style they used for the credits at the start and end of the film of the film, the comic art freeze frames to introduce the characters that made up the Losers looked great they could have come straight from the pages of the comics.

The Losers is not a perfect film, the acting is off in places, I had issues with the plot, the grand plan of Max was a bit too old school Bond villain for me and it did not suit the rest of the film in my eyes, the effect used for the test of his plan was one of the few times the CGI in this film failed for me.

I think the Losers can be put in with the other good comic book adaptations, yes they have tinkered with elements of the source story, but at the end of the day that has to be expected, films and comics are two very different mediums that work in different ways, what is important is that you keep the core of the story intact, I think they have been true to the core of the story while producing a good film that entertained me in it’s own right and should be congratulated for that.

I went to the cinema wanting a popcorn action film that was a good ride with good action and some good laughs, with the Losers that is just what I got, worth my time and my money.

8/10

GS Reviewer: Glen Davies

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