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.
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