Directed by: Sylvain White
Premise: An adaptation of the comic book. An elite American military squad is betrayed and left for dead. They come into contact with a mysterious woman (Zoe Saldana) who can clear their names if they assassinate the leader of an international crime syndicate.
What Works: What saves The Losers is its humor. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and consistently delivers witty jokes, mostly from Chris Evans, who demonstrates a talent for comedy that will hopefully be tapped in future performances. The Losers is shot and edited together fairly well and keeps its story moving at a brisk pace. Although The Losers is adapted from a comic book, the film looks and feels inspired by the action films and television shows of the 1980s like Commando, Tango & Cash, MacGyver, and the A-Team and it has that same sense of masculinity, spectacle, and fun.
What Doesn’t: The story of The Losers has a lot of trouble with a sense of direction. The villain and the threat that he poses is never realized on screen and throughout the middle of the film he never comes into direct conflict with the heroes. This reduces the second act of the story to a collection of scenes of the heroes talking about how they are going to take out the villains without really doing anything to ratchet up the conflict and direct the story toward a climax. And as amusing as Chris Evans is, the rest of the lead characters are flat and dull and mostly copies of characters from other action films inspired by The Wild Bunch.
Bottom Line: The Losers is intended to be the first chapter of an ongoing franchise but it’s unlikely that anyone will lose any sleep over what becomes of the heroes of this film. It just isn’t engaging enough for that although it is enjoyable as a disposable action film.
Episode: #286 (May 2, 2010)