The Losers got off to a shaky start, literally, with the current action movie hand held camera action sequence craze, where it is literally challenging to figure out what is going on. (BTW, can someone please bring back the steady cam? It was nice and ….steady!!) But getting the plot into motion was about as shaky as the camera work. For the first ten minutes of the film, it seemed like it was going to be one of those action movies that tries too hard to be cool and clever, but is all over the place in tone and never decides what kind of movie it wants to be. But thankfully, once the opening action sequence is over, the film finally settles into a fun movie with good action sequences and a showcase for the cast of talented character actors.
The Losers central plot is about an elite C.I.A. Special Forces unit who is betrayed and left for dead, who must go through many machinations to clear their names. But as with most action movies, plot isn’t very important, the cast of talented character actors is the movie’s real strength and the fun is in each characters quirks. Included in the cast are Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clay, the groups gruff and ultra cool leader; Zoë Saldana is Aisha, the mystery tough chick; Chris Evans is Jensen, the groups goofball; Idris Elba is Roque, the only member who stands up to Clay; Columbus Short is Pooch, the married man with a baby on the way; Oscar Jaenada is Cougar, the very silent but deadly sniper and Jason Patrick is the villain, Max.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is, as usual, fun for the female population to watch. He definitely has the makings of the type of movie star that I relatable because he is like someone you might really know in real life, just better looking. Idris Elba and Columbus Short are both able to give cliché, stock characters some dimension. This isn’t the type of film where we see three dimensional characters, but Elba and Short flesh out their characters as much as the script allows.
Special mention must be made of Chris Evans, who steals just about every scene he is in. But then he dose have the one potential classic scene in the movie, where his character very creatively breaks into (and out of) a top security company while singing, “Don’t Stop Believing”. (You will never hear that song again without smiling) This is the kind of sequence that reminds people how much fun this type of movie can be. If The Losers and Evans’ future turn as Captain America do well at the box office, in hindsight, people might look back at The Losers as his break-out role.
While Jason Patrick can normally be pretty very dull, in this film he does some hilarious mustache twirling as the requisite villain. Patrick is clearly having a ball playing evil, which adds to the fun. BTW, when will geeky scientists learn that when the evil mastermind threatens to kill you if you don\’t do something horrible – he will STILL kill you even if you do it? Haven’t they seen any action movies?
What was refreshing about this film is that the characters are smart, not just brawny and lucky. There is not that problem that a lot of other action films have, where the outcomes are so implausible that our hero/heroine only escape injury/death by luck or filmmakers changing the laws of nature. When the characters in The Losers get themselves into a sticky situation, it is their smarts that get them out of a tight spot, not just their shooting and fighting skills – although there is plenty of that to go around!