Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: The Losers (2010) TH

Losers become winners

This is a movie that would be followed by "The A-Team" and "The Expendibles" with a team of varied guys out on high-octane missions at the tax payers' expense. "The Losers" is simple entertainment down to the frequent location changes, thousands of ammunition fired, casual property destruction, inventive covert missions and party-like jokes in between like everyone is having a ball of a time even if their lives are in danger and their country is in peril.

A colonel with a conscience named Clay (Jeffery Dean Morgan) gets an order to paint a target for an air strike in Bolivia, when he spots a truck full of innocent children that are going to be collateral damage. Control tells him to stand down, yet he goes against orders anyway for a quick rescue with his four other team members that have varied specialities ranging from driver, tech, sniper to demolitions. After telling them to take the kids first on the helicopter safely away, headquarters orders a missile to obliterate the chopper thinking they're on it as they stand by idle and watch in horror. They're now thought of as deceased and with the help of a newly met woman named Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who's tough, seductive and sneaky, they plan how to take out the eccentric man named Max (Jason Patric) who set them up and is so deplorable and devoid of emotion that he makes the typical Bond villain look neighborly. At first the rough around the edges "heroes" want to give up and look the other way, though they all have something to look forward to back home. Soon enough they pit their skills together and act like a tight-knit brotherhood who's got each others' backs through thick and thin to clear their names and possibly figure out the truth in the mean time. Except where money's involved who knows what could happen.

This is an action/comedy with flashy camera setups and hip music to move things along without a moment's pause. The serious and comical scenes don't always transition smoothly back and forth, with some one-liners feeling out of context and like crickets and drum rolls should proceed instead. This is cinematic amusement at its most basic, such as trained professionals never hitting their target, so they have to expend countless rounds of ammo to make it look more intense and dramatic. This tries to be gritty with a certain chromatic look at points and some shady locations, but the action is typically exaggerated and feels preplanned to the point of not always lending out any serious weight. "The Losers" has its moments and passes by with some excitement but feels like a one-off movie that can be soon enough forgotten because there's not much to it that already hasn't been done apart from a few gimmicks up its sleeve.

Director: Sylvain White (I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Stomp the Yard)
Starring: Jeffery Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Jason Patric
Website: IMDB