“The Losers” follows a team of five CIA black ops after they have been framed for the deaths of 25 Bolivian children, who were blown up in a helicopter that was supposed to be carrying The Losers.
Considered dead by their family members in the United States, The Losers stay in Bolivia and try to find the man that tried to assassinate them, Max, played by Jason Patric (My Sister’s Keeper), although, this proves to be more difficult than they anticipated.
This deadly group consists of Clay, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), Jensen, played by Chris Evans (Fantastic Four), Cougar, played by Oscar Jaenada (Trash), Pooch, played by Columbus Short (Death at a Funeral), and Roque, played by Idris Elba (American Gangster). Together, these men could eliminate Max with ease, but they can’t kill someone when they don’t know what he looks like or where he is. Then Clay meets Aisha, played by Zoe Saldana (Avatar). Aisha is a young woman with a vindictive streak who offers The Losers their lives in exchange for Max’s dead body.
The plot has it all: love, death, camaraderie and betrayal. The one unfortunate thing is that the plot is very disjointed. Events occur in quick succession and there isn’t always a good explanation for them, except that it needed to occur to make the film move forward. The ending is also a little anticlimactic, but it leaves the story wide open for a sequel.
The acting really makes this film. The characters complement each other well, and each has their own little quirk that makes a connection with the audience. Jensen is the geek with a soft spot for his niece’s soccer team and Pooch is about to be a father. Both Evans and Short play these roles well, balancing their humorous qualities with paternal concern.
Cougar is silent for a large part of the film, but whenever he speaks it is usually a joke that Jaenada delivers with ease. Roque is an easily angered character who is constantly at odds with Clay.
Both Morgan and Elba are good at maintaining the tension between these two characters for the remainder of the film. The soundtrack went well with what was going on in a particular scene. Watching Jensen run away from security to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” is absolutely priceless.
The one problem with the characterization is that the villain, Max, is not well developed. There is no reason for his actions, other than he is obsessed with making money and, by nature, is a bad person. Given the atrocious acts he commits in the film, it’s really not that convincing. Patric’s portrayal of the character had little to do with it. He performed Max’s eccentricities and personality well, but a simple line explaining why Max is the way he is would have made him more lifelike, rather than seeming like a cardboard cut-out.
Overall, “The Losers” win. The jokes were good, the actors had great chemistry and the plot was entertaining. Even those who don’t usually enjoy movies based on comic books will enjoy this film, because after the beginning credits it’s almost impossible to tell that the characters originated from a DC offshoot publication. It’s a good movie to go see to get rid of the stress of finals week. A tip: stay through the first half of the credits for some extra hilarity.