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Under Review: ‘The Losers’

— by MARIUSZ ZUBROWSKI —

I adore films whose titles have a deeper meaning and it’s up to the audience to delve into it. But up until yesterday, I don’t believe that any title has angered me more than “The Losers.” The reason behind my unimaginable rage is quite simple. I genuinely saw myself as a loser for paying more than $10 for such a horrid motion-picture. But at least I’m not the only one. I mean, looking through a critical lens, though Sylvain White and screen-writers Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt are sure to rack in millions of dollars this weekend, they’re still losers in my mind — for releasing such a messy, loud and ultimately forgettable comic book adaptation.

Still riding on the success of last week’s “Kick-Ass,” which I believed to be excellent, “The Losers” continues White’s trend of mediocrity. At least it’s not his worst motion-picture, but with a filmography as horrid as “I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Stomp the Yard,” this isn’t praise.

The film follows the story of a rag-tag team of losers named Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Rogue (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short) and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada). Following a botched mission in Bolivia that marked them as deceased, the team remains and tries to make enough money to get back into the states to prove that the destruction of a helicopter that carried 20-something children was part of a man named Max’s (Jason Patric) plan to get rid of The Losers.

Luckily for the team, Clay runs into Aisha (Zoe Saldana), a femme fatale who gets him interested in a plot that involves finding Max and then killing him. Clay agrees and the team begins hunting for Max, who is in the business of buying next generation weapons of mass destruction that he intends to sell to the highest bidder.

My main problem with “The Losers” is not that the characters are unoriginal. No, they’re actually quite idiosyncratic, but the lack of any real personal or emotional struggles makes them feel less human and mixed with the absolutely terrible dialogue, it makes them look more like court jesters than hardened soldiers trying to get their lives back from a menacing mad man.

Clay is the only character who exhibits some metamorphosis post-“death.” He begins to question his authority and misses being a soldier. But “The Losers” is just too sloppy to care.

Mixed into terrible story-telling, the horrid script, the bad performances, one would expect the action scenes to be decent. But, in actuality, they’re terribly clichéd and since the characters are so hard to root for, there are hardly any stakes involved and for an action film, this is absolutely crucial — especially for the film’s climax, but sadly, you can’t always get what you want.

The audience are losers for seeing this garbage. The screen-writers are losers for writing it. White is a loser for directing it. But hey — at least I get the pleasure of writing a less-than-positive review for it.

. . .

Follow Mariusz Zubrowski on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ItsJustMariusz.

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3 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Cam Smith #
    1

    Next up for James Vanderbilt, kids: the SPIDER-MAN reboot! Hooray.

  2. annielicious14 #
    2

    Ouch!!! I’m going to have to disagree with you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes Kick Ass was excellent but this wasn’t kick Ass.

    May I just take a moment to mention their names again for the record….Clay, Roque, Jensen, Pooch and Cougar…… and to giggle.

    I’m glad you “got” Clay. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is always spot on in my books.

    But lets talk about Max, who is played by Jason Patric who gives the word sociopath new meaning. I loved him. He was sarcastic, homicidal and had “minion” problems – It’s funny that Max kills
    people because he’s ticked off with them; it’s scary, too.(seriously when he shot the umbrella girl – priceless)and at the same time he was charming. All the requirements for an awesome “Bad Guy”!

    The cast were instantly-identifiable in their roles to me: Clay the reluctant leader; Roque the tough right-hand man; Jensen the sassy (I think I’m cute) techs pert; Pooch the laid-back
    wheel man; Cougar the laconic long-lens killer (and it seems lady killer as well). Aisha brings some friction and doubt to the group while still having some nice chemistry with Clay/JDM. I also thought there was a good balance of fun and action (i.e the fight scene between Clay and Zoe/Aisha in the burning room).

    I know we’ve seen these “characters” before, but, you have to like these types of cliches even a little to like “The Losers”. And there was a bucket load of Cliches for us to pick through. Still giggling.

    I kind of understand what you’re saying about White. But I feel he has a good grasp of the “Action-film mechanics” so he knows we need the compulsory elements, before he can shows off you know…… freestyle. (My daughter does gymnastics). He balances out the inserting of a character bit or a comedy line, giving us a break before throwing us back into the fray. By the way I’m still going ……. “No Roque”!

    I feel “The Losers” is exactly what a action film should be. Good times with good action, some brains and the eye candy ratio wasn’t half bad. (big smile)!! I was entertained every minute of the movie.

    It was like being at an awesome party, while it’s happening it’s a heck of a good time. All the details might be a bit foggy the next day but hey…. a good party will do that to you! But you know what!?….. you’ll remember you had fun.

  3. Josue Sanchez #
    3

    I don’t know, but I really feel like watching this now…



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