Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Losers

Anyone Else Would Be Dead By Now.

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada, Jason Patric

Director: Sylvain White

2010  |  97 Minutes  |  PG-13

“My favorite part was when we were completely on fire, but the shootout that was good times” – Jensen

The Losers was The Expendables before The Expendables were cool.  Well kinda.  It’s based on a DC/Vertigo comic book series that I hadn’t heard of prior to the movie coming out.  It is sort of like a less badass, PG-13 version of The Expendables.

The Losers are an elite group of special forces operatives led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and made up of Roque (Idris Elba), Jensen (Chris Evans), Pooch (Columbus Short) and Cougar (Oscar Jaenada).  When their superior, Max (Jason Patric) double crosses them they go after him.  With her own reasons for revenge, Aisha (Zoe Saldana) joins the group in their mission.

Hey did I mention that The Losers is based on a DC/Vertigo comic book?  Yes.  Well if you missed it here or in any of the marketing for the film the opening to the movie won’t let you forget it. The credits and character introductions are all done in a very comic booky style.

Aisha (Zoe Saldana), while beautiful, still pulls off the strong, dangerous female role extremely well.  She is the real star of The Losers.  Seeing her standing with a rocket launcher is a thing of beauty.  She also happens to be the best actor of the bunch.  I would love to see Zoe in some more action roles but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her career take a more serious turn.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan does a good job as the leader of the group, Clay, but looks unnatural in a gun fight.  He looks much more natural bellied up to the bar where he first meets Aisha.

Idris Elba plays the knife wielding hot head, Roque, very well.  He is the second (to Aisha) most badass of the group.

Chris Evans is a loudmouthed dork who is good for a few acts but is still believable (probably more believable) blasting away in the action scenes.

The characters of Pooch & Cougar, while cool, are really never anything more than background characters to the rest of the crew.

Jason Patric’s Max overacts every single scene he is on the screen.  I just never found him to be a believable character.  His actions prove him to be a bad guy but the acting should really back that up.  And as if killing a helicopter full of children wasn’t enough, Max further proves his evilness by killing a woman for not holding his umbrella correctly.

The action is all very well done in The Losers.  The first and final scenes both stand out as being great longer action sequences.  There is nothing worse than a potentially good action movie cutting it’s action scenes too short.  That doesn’t happen here.  The main problem I had was that there is hardly any blood.  For how action packed, violent and mature the whole movie is, it seems just wrong that they allowed the PG-13 rating to hold it back from its full potential.

The Losers could have been so much more bloody and violent but DC Comics would probably require that their properties remain a little less graphic.  Every headshot is done off screen.  Apparently DC Comics doesn’t have a problem with the overt sexual content of the movie.  It seems that they didn’t want to make it too violent so as to push away a younger audience but had no problem featuring multiple nudity-free sex scenes.  I am, of course, not against sex but The Losers could have been so much better had it been free to be what it was meant to be…a gritty, bloody action flick.

The Losers sets up for a potential sequel.  Hopefully we get one someday.  And hopefully it is done with a little heavier hand.  Someone at DC needs to give the greenlight to go Hard R on the next one.  If they can keep the quality of this one and bump up the violence level a few notches we should be in for a real treat.  The Losers was a great time but I kept craving an Expendables level of violence.