The Losers is a stupid film that thinks it’s awfully clever. Which is a pity, because without the cocky, clumsy script and painful pop culture references, it might have been a solid action movie. There’s no doubt that an audience exists for this kind of thing, and given its 12A rating I really recommend it to the under 15s because you’ll not see more violence in anything that you’re legally allowed to watch this summer.
Although it’s ostensibly a comic book movie, the source material isn’t the traditional superhero fare. The Losers are a group of former soldiers turned vengeful vigilantes after being framed by a preposterously evil villain known only as Max; a man who makes Dick Cheney’s foreign policy look liberal. Jeffery Dean Morgan (Watchmen) heads up the group, with support from Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) and Chris Evans (Fantastic Four). Zoe Saldana soon joins them as a mysterious benefactor who wants to help them get back at Max. You’ll know her as the uncannily rendered ten foot blue tribesperson slash princess from Avatar. Morgan looks like he needs a shower throughout, Elba can’t drop his Stringer Bell mumble or swagger and actually look like a soldier, Evans is lumbered with endless lame duck lines and Saldana does her best with her flat as a pancake bad ass chick role.
The script is, as I said, pretty ropey, with attempts at humour mostly falling flat, and the tonal shifts between extreme violence and wisecracking handled poorly, particularly for a film that could be seen by eight year olds. Despite this there are some good set piece scenes, and your overall enjoyment will depend on how well you can tolerate the paint by numbers plot and the banal ramblings of the cast. It’s hard to say much more, so I won’t bother. The Losers is what it is.
On a side note, imagine how mental it would look for a film made in any country other than the US to have constant shots of that nation’s flag inserted. It occurs several times in The Losers, and it’s pretty unnerving to me as a non-American. I wonder whether it’s even noticeable if you come from the place. Thoughts?