Saturday 4 September 2010

Movie Review: The Losers (2010)

Neither smart nor sharp, The Losers at least succeeds in matching the expectations established by its title.

A US Special Forces team, led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), eliminate a high-ranking gangster in the jungles of Bolivia but veer away from their mission to save a group of children. Clay's team is summarily betrayed and left for dead by Max, their mission commander. Looking for a way back into the US, Clay is approached by the mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who offers a way for the team to get revenge on Max.

It is fair enough for a comics-inspired action film to veer far away from any semblance of reality with non-stop death-defying escapades if it offers up an abundance of matching fun and wit. The talent behind The Losers is too shallow to even come close to pulling off this trade-off. We are left with a succession of tired set-pieces, each progressively less interesting as a parade of mind-numbing cliches are trotted out: the special-ops team with each member a specialist; the rogue and brutal CIA man intent on starting his own war; the hard-drive that holds the secret to a conspiracy; and the final assault on the hide-out of the bad guys, complete with a ticking bomb of some sort.

Apart from some minor twists on a few of the stunts, it is difficult to find any ideas in The Losers that aren't recycled from numerous other films.

The cast singularly lacks charisma, and struggles against a bland script that neither looks for and much less finds any sparks. Dean Morgan as Clay is too serious compared to the ridiculous carnage going on around him, and the usually interesting Saldana gets no traction neither as the lady of mystery nor as the love interest.

The Losers is further proof, although none was needed, that comic book adaptations have long since found the rusted and fetid bottom of the barrel.

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