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The Losers Movie Review

Double crossed, out for revenge, and...well, you get it.


 

After a deadly betrayal by a mysterious, “voice” that calls himself Max, five close-knit CIA operatives are forced to disappear, fall off the grid, and live defeated, non-existent lives. Getting back at Max is essentially what The Losers is all about. Clay, the leader of the group, stages a bid for revenge against Max, with the help of Aisha, a deadly woman who seeks revenge for her own personal reasons.  

Here, in 2010, we’re seeing the re-emergence of these kind of team-based buddy films and with upcoming movies such as The A-Team and The Expendables, I have to admit, I hold a guilty-pleasure giddiness in anticipation of these movies. Perhaps a big part is nostalgia from having grown up in the 80’s. I came into the Losers with that giddiness and excitement, but in the end was ultimately let down. 
 
The film starts with a forgettable intro sequence and job description of each member – which is about as deep as the movie gets with its characters. We simply know they’re the good guys because they risked everything in an attempt to save some children. Max is the bad guy because he blew up the children. The only thing that survived the heap of twisted metal is a stuffed bear. The five losers don’t have a lot of complexity to them, but hey, this is a fun action movie.   The film instead relies on the humor and fun-loving camaraderie they have with each other, but unfortunately each funny line, bad joke, and chummy fist bump feels contrived due to awkward delivery, bad writing, and just odd placement.   There is absolutely no seamless integration of this kind of fun.   But don’t get me wrong, there are a few rare moments where this does work, just watch the trailer to see them all. 
 
The Losers are a mobile bunch jetting across multiple continents and racking up some serious frequent flyer miles for their revenge scheme (and coincidentally stopping Max from shipping out new and terrifying weapons of mass destruction), and the films $25 million dollar budget keeps these locations tight. This is an impressive, ambitious feat for that budget, even if the film doesn’t explore every alley and side street of the locale. 
 
However, the real flop in this film is Slyvian White’s direction. There are good actors in this film, Chris Evans, Jefferey Dean Morgan, and Zoe Saldana, all reach for what they can, but they’re just not given much fun stuff to do. Chances for their character quirks to shine during slow moments of exposition are lost and instead we’re just given just that: boring, slow moments of exposition. White’s Director of Photography, Scott Keavens, is doing his best Tony Scott impression through natural lighting and shaky-cam, and the editor followed his lead with kinetic cuts everywhere in the movie. All of which didn’t quite work, because the film doesn’t have the same electricity and intensity of a Scott movie and the action and fight sequences were too few and sub-par.

 
The Losers gave up what slight chance it had at stylistic ingenuity through badly chosen derivatives and careless artistic choices. The actors were wasted on an unpolished script that had them spouting lines that they themselves didn’t seem to commit to, and the directors vision, while ambitious, was unfocused. The film lacked any exciting action sequences, and the caper scenes ignored the opportunity to use these unique characters for clever execution. The film hinged itself on fist bumps, hand slaps, and slo-mo, which got boring very quickly. I didn’t expect this movie to be great; I hoped it to be clever and, lots of fun.
 
2/5
17 Comments
Posted by Neverpraying

Might watch it, doubt it tho

Posted by goldenkey

love Zoe tho.  Hope shes nekked
Posted by Theodore

Damn, I kinda wanted to see it too.

Posted by Jordanstine


Not a knock on this review, but I remember inferiorego giving KICK-ASS a not so good review... but everyone else including the critics loved it... (8.4 rating on IMDB; 76% Rotten Tomatoes; B Yahoo Movie Critics / A- Yahoo User Critics) so it's still on my "to see" list.

 
The trailer for The Losers didn't really excite me anyway so I'll just wait for this on cable.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I will wait when it comes on tv.
Posted by The Human Stain

The movie was fun. Nothing spectacular. Pretty much what I expected.

Posted by Crymsun

Looks like a rental to me.
Posted by The Jeff

I wish I wouldn't have seen it. I lost out on The Losers

Posted by Joe Venom

Wow a 2/5 really that's kinda harsh I saw this last night and had a great time, sure its not a 5/5 but there was hardly a dull moment in the movie, the villain in the movie was awesome, the action was there, and tons of funny moments. It's great movie and sure there is room for improvement but I walked out felling good and I look forward to seeing the next one.

Posted by Gokusoup

the nice thing about this movie is you don't feel like you are missing anything when you leave to use the bathroom or get snacks 

Posted by Sir Duke

I couldn't disagree with this review more.

Edited by NightFang

Maybe i'll rent this movie on Netflix.

Posted by Nyogtha

It's also not fair for The Losers to come out the week before Kick Ass that had a pretty good marketing campaign and two weeks before Iron Man 2 which has a mammoth of a marketing blitz everywhere. They probably wanted to get this out quick so they could release it by the time they did.

Posted by GraveSp

I would probably give a 4/5 or 3.75 because I thought it was really good as a fun action movie.  There were great lines in it, the characters were funny, and Jensen and Pooch actually got decently developed for an action movie, it discussed a lot of their family.  I thought lines like "thats right bitches I have a crossbow" and "oh i get it today is stupid question day and you guys forgot to tell me" were great lines for a movie.  The movie was enjoyable, scenes looked pretty good except the CG in the ending.  But I do believe you need to go into the movie expecting to see an action comedy, its not something that you should expect to be great.  

Posted by Tainted-Cell


I have to disagree completely with this review. 
Yesterday I managed to catch a matinee (not an easy feat, considering seven tour buses from a school took a field trip to the first theater I tried to get into), and I was not let down AT ALL. 
The movie is a cheesy action flick. The comics, likewise, aren't very deep. My expectations didn't run very far to begin with - I just wanted to watch a fun movie. That is what I got. 

Chris Evans and Jeffrey Dean Morgan give the best performances, but Evans definitely steals every scene he is in. Colombus Short  "Pooch" and Chris Evans "Jensen" are hilarious together, and make for some of the film's best moments. Even if you're not a Journey fan, you can't say you didn't laugh out loud when "Don't Stop Believing" becomes Jensen's theme song. Zoe Saldana is the token "girl", although thankfully, she is excellent in the role, physically and in her delivery.  I was a bit disappointed with Idris Elba - he wasn't quite as tough as he was made out to be, and his accent comes out whenever he raises his volume. I'm sure a lot of readers were let down by the lack of (dare I say?) chemistry between Morgan and Elba, and considering the ensemble cast, The Losers' weakness is there.  
 
Some things are changed up a bit differently: the New York settings are traded for some different visuals, some events occur out of order for the purpose of pacing and storytelling, Wade becomes a henchmen/bodyguard rather than a cold-blooded assassin/mercenary, the focus on G.O.D. is traded in for something pretty corny, and some events are abbreviated in what seems to be an attempt to score the money-making PG-13 rating. I will say that like "Kick-Ass", those who haven't read the comics might have an advantage, but I generally approve of the changes/abbreviations they made.  
 
I didn't leave the auditorium thinking "worse things have happened." It was fun.

Posted by Silkcuts

That was harsh....
Its easy to pick on an action movie because really, what more then Action is there?  So good job.  The comedy I agree is hit or miss, but there was never a dull moment until the ending.
There was a good pace of action and when no action was around, comedy was around the corner.  
 
I love Andy Diggle's DC work as becoming a huge fan from his Hellblazer run.  Yes the movie only ports the action, but the movie is easier to follow the way they wrote the script.  Some things from the graphic novel will be lost, but sometimes things need to be change according to the media.  The graphic novels are better, but the movie is good for what it is.
 
The Movie deserves at least a 2.5-3 because it delivers as an action/comedy.  If you were expecting more they you judged it unfairly.  I think The Losers is hurt by the pro Marvel-bias on Comicvine.  And Vertigo stories suffer because most Vertigo fans separate themselves from DC.
 
If you came in watching The Losers by just watching the Trailer, you know what to expect and it should of been the passing grade at most.  Those who haven't seen the trailer, I can understand the co confusing in what its happening, but if your smart enough realize that your are suppose to sit back and enjoy again ,it should be at least a passing grade.  
 
Less then passing, your just looking on picking on something.  And I bet the DC movie is getting picked on because of the Pro marvel Bias here on Comicvine.
 
If this movie was not listed as a DC/Vertigo movie, I bet it would of been reviewed higher.
 
The Losers is better then 3/4th of the Marvel Movies ever made.
But people rather seen Deadpool, who is a rip-off of Deathstroke.
 
If Marvel makes a Thunderbolts movie based on Diggle's run, I bet this reviewer would love it before even seeing it.  And I have been reading Andy Diggle's work for years, and his Thunderbolts work its meh.

Posted by JoeyF
@Silkcuts:  Take it easy man, I'm not looking to just pick on "an action flick".  I love action flicks.  And hell, I love fun action flicks -- but just because a director labels his film as a "fun action flick" doesn't give him an the right to be lazy with the script and direction of action AND acting.
 
I came into this film not knowing a single thing about the comic; and that was intentional.  It could of been Marvel for all I'd known.  Believe me, I wouldn't of "gave it a higher rating if it wasn't labeled a DC/Vertigo movie."  And I sure as hell don't  "[form opinions of] movies before even seeing them".
 
I'm a video producer here at Comic Vine whose first love and passion is film -- a lazy, badly-made action movie is a lazy, badly-made action movie, no matter what publisher affiliation it has.
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