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The Losers
Reviewed by Rick Klaw, © 2010

Format: Movie
By:   Sylvain White (Director) and based on the comic by Andy Diggle and Jock
Genre:   Comic Book adaptation
Review Date:   April 23, 2010
Audience Rating:   PG-13
RevSF Rating:   4/10 (What Is This?)

The Losers supplies even more evidence that recent filmmakers have forgotten how to make exciting action movies. Based on the Vertigo comic of the same name, the film plods along the mediocre path of other recent clunkers: Repo Men, Clash of the Titans, and Terminator: Salvation.

Betrayed by the mysterious and powerful Max (Jason Patric) during a search and destroy mission in the Bolivian jungle, an elite U.S. Special Forces unit, Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada), unwittingly enable an atrocity and then in shame fake their own deaths. Aisha (Zoe Saldana), an operative with her own hidden agenda, aligns with the group as they seek vengeance on Max.

Director Sylvain (Stomp the Yard) White's over reliance and poor understanding of slow motion (all super slo-mo sex scenes are ludicrous even if they involve the gorgeous Saldana) and misuse of comic book tropes expose the story's weak, standard thriller plot. Nearly every action only seems to exist as an excuse to blow things up with the concept of even serviceable storytelling an anathema.

Screenwriters Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt's by-the-numbers screenplay further erode the tale. By choosing to remove the non-linear elements, the duo removed any suspense from creator Andy Diggle's admittedly subpar original story.

Bad guy Max kills indiscriminately and dons, ala Michael Jackson, a glove, either black or white, for no explained reason. A bad parody of Roger Moore-era James Bond villainy, Max engages in an inherently flawed, hackneyed plan for world domination.

There are several good scenes, usually involving Jensen and mostly lifted verbatim from the comic. But even among the better scenes, White, similar to the worst of Family Guy, drags the scenarios far beyond their logical conclusion. These bits only serve to further highlight the film's many inferior aspects.

Primarily thanks to the poor directing and script, the acting never excels but also never sinks to terrible. With under-developed characters and stereotypical dialogue, the actors have little to do.

Supposedly an ironic, modern twist on the classic action movie, the aptly named The Losers, littered with plot holes and lacking any sort of internal logic, fails to deliver on almost every cinematic level.


Editor-at-large Rick Klaw wishes they adapted Jack Kirby's Losers instead. His ramblings can be seen at The Geek Curmudgeon.

 
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