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Thursday, April 29, 2010 07:40 pm

The Losers lives up to its name

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Seems as though either superheroes or alien robots have dominated the last few summer movie seasons. That’s not the case in 2010 as action-adventures focusing on rogue, elite military forces are now in vogue. We’ll be dodging bullets with The A-Team in June and Sylvester Stallone leads the most testosterone-heavy cast in film history when The Expendables hits screens in August. However, first out of the gate is The Losers, an adaptation of the DC/Vertigo comic book about a small U.S. intelligence force that’s mistaken for dead and comes back from exile to hunt down the man who double-crossed them.

Sent to help take down a drug lord in Bolivia, the group led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finds itself in exile when they disobey a direct order that leads to the death of 25 innocent children. Assumed dead, his cohorts Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short) and Cougar (Oscar Jaenada) jump at the chance to return to the States when rogue CIA agent Aisha (Zoe Saldana) offers to ferry them back on one condition: they help her take down Max (Jason Patric), an arms dealer who happens to be the guy who knifed Clay and his men in the back.

As directed by Sylvain White, there’s a B-Movie charm that helps make it initially bearable. Cut together quickly and sporting a grainy visual tone, the film revels in its pulp roots, almost winking at the audience as it walks lockstep through its predictable paces. This quickly wears thin, which is a shame as Morgan and his men deserve a better film than this. Yet all signs point to this being their only foray into movie mayhem. Despite the charm and chemistry of all involved, The Losers plays out like a mission that’s been completed successfully before and on a grander scale.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.

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