I’ve never actually read the graphic novel “The Losers” is based on and sometimes that’s a good thing, since a film adaptation tends to garner its own flavor and narrative path from its source material and that can be said for the film adaptation of “The Losers” a movie that doesn’t try for Oscar gold or even legendary status but instead tries to make us laugh and cheer about as much as humanly possible in the ninety minutes it greets us with an array of bad asses, each with their own skill, who have a bone to pick with their government. Like “The A-Team,” this group of soldiers were all framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and deemed dead after a failed assassination attempt, disband and lose touch.
After the enigmatic and gorgeous Aisha comes knocking down the doors of their ex-leader Clayton (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I bow to you and your McQueen-like machismo), the Losers re-unite to take back what’s theirs and go down with some dignity. Part “The Dirty Dozen,” part “The Wild Bunch,” and part “The Sting,” Sylvain White’s action comedy is something of a pure party for anyone looking to kick back and laugh while heads get blown off. Researching the comic, the casting director manages to compile a variety of top notch actors all of whom look their respective roles to a tee. As if Morgan was too much to handle, Idris Elba is fantastic as knife loving Roque, Clayton’s second hand man who engages in a bromance throughout the entire story unwilling to trust Zoe while Chris Evans brings the deadpan comic timing of Jensen the nerd of the team who is hopelessly out of place in his world, while Columbus Short is a perfect rival to Evans’ own one-liners.
Óscar Jaenada says very little in the film but brings a gravitas to his hard boiled sniper character Cougar, and the entire respective cast has a chemistry that makes “The Losers” an actioner you want to get sucked in to and watch for the long haul. Like other directors before him tackling comic book movies, White elicits much of the same comic book style transplanting it on to the screen in full motion offering some unique segways, fantastic introductions, and action sequences that splash from the screen with pacing and energy that keeps the excitement rolling from minute one and never lets up with the sexual allure of Saldana, the wicked choreography, and the cleverly staged action set pieces.
Not to be outdone Jason Patric has fun as the villainous megalomaniac Max, target number one for the Losers who take every opportunity to humiliate him before the final showdown. “The Losers” works as both a comedy and a balls to the wall action film, and this testosterone filled romp is strictly for the male persuasion still coming down from “The Expendables.” It works wonderfully as a double feature, and as a surefire guilty pleasure that won’t break the mold but will surely entertain you time and time again. This is not a movie you break down and examine, and I knew that going in to it. “The Losers” is exactly the kind of movie is advertises itself as and I love it for that. It’s fun, funny, action packed, dons top notch performances, and reveals Jeffrey Dean Morgan to be one in a line of Hollywood tough guys who have yet to be given their due in film. For shame.