Everything about “The Losers” is exaggerated. Things don’t explode, they burst into fiery mushroom clouds. The body count is in the triple digits and why use a machine gun when you can use a bazooka? It has all the elements of a regular action flick, just more and, as an added bonus, one of the bad guys is from Quebec.
At the beginning of the film The Losers are five highly trained special ops soldiers (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Oscar Jaenada)—calling them losers is like calling a tall guy Shorty—on a mission in Bolivia. Their job is to locate and mark a terrorist’s den so the air force can swoop in and lay down a heap of shock and awe. Minutes before bombs are scheduled to drop a busload of underage children arrive at the compound. The Losers try and call off the raid, but the high command—a man named Max (Jason Patrick)—refuses. Several very loud noises later The Losers are forced to fake their own deaths and go rogue. When a mysterious stranger (Zoe Saldana) shows up with a proposition they see a way to reenter the United States and get their revenge on Max.
Of course there’s more to the story than that. There’s next generation weapons, more international locations than a James Bond movie and an internationally wanted bazooka toting bad girl who dresses like a Guess model. This is a comic book movie—it’s based on a Vertigo DC series—with comic book characters and a silly premise. The bad guy is engineering a global conflict to bring peace to the US. Huh? Duct tape saves the day (Red Green would be so proud). Double huh?
It’s all a bit silly but since the movie doesn’t take itself seriously neither should we. It’s a fun ride that while bigger isn’t necessarily better. There’s a bit too much slo mo—I think it’s time we finally put an end to the “Reservoir Dogs” slo motion shot of the team walking toward the camera—the ending is clearly set up for a sequel and the supposed good guys seem to take a bit too much pleasure in killing.
On the upside, however, the cast seems to be having a good time alternately delivering tough guy lines—“You’re going to die very badly”—and typical action movie one liners—“Everybody except for PETA wants her dead” with loads of enthusiasm.
Actor wise as Clay Jeffrey Dean Morgan picks up where his character in “Watchmen” left off, and Zoe Saldana adds to her action movie reputation in a highly physical role that proves that Hit Girl isn’t the most lethal female in the theatres this week. Idris Elba provides the closest thing to a fully rounded character, mostly because he isn’t saddled with the one-liners the other guys have to spout.
“The Losers” is an action packed comic book romp that would make a better Saturday afternoon matinee than date night movie.