The Losers is yet another mediocre addition to the detritus of lackluster action films of late. It’s by no means amazing, but it isn’t altogether awful either. It’s just kinda “blah.” And I don’t feel that I’m asking too much of action movies. I’m a fan of mindless, violent action. I grew up watching Sly, Arnie, & Bruce kicking ass and taking names. And I loved almost every minute of it, still do.
With The Losers, however, the action never really takes off. It all seems fairly rote, like a “paint by the numbers” action movie. Everything is very mechanical, as if the characters are just going through the motions. It isn’t an issue of pacing or a lack of action. The film moves along fairly quickly, from shoot outs to fist fights, with the occasional explosion, and one-liners aplenty. But, I was bored throughout.
The eponymous losers are a disgraced CIA black ops team, betrayed by the ominous Max and presumed dead. Stranded in Bolivia, the team plot their revenge with the aid of the mysterious Aisha, who makes them an offer they can’t refuse; in exchange for getting them back into the United States, they must kill Max, which is no easy feat since they don’t even know what he looks like.
Pretty straight-forward action movie fare, and mildly entertaining. Still, The Losers never won me over, not for lack of trying. Though, there are some nice moments. Chris Evans is particularly amusing, reprising his role from The Fantastic Four… not the Human Torch, but the most entertaining character in a film based on a comic book. Jason Patrick also has some delightfully devious moments as Max, the prototypical meta-villain, unfortunately he also has some superfluous exposition reiterating what is already pretty clear; Max is a bad guy.
In truth, saying that Chris Evans is the most entertaining character in the film isn’t entirely fair, the cast is not the problem with The Losers. They all deliver decent performances, Columbus Short being another standout as Pooch. His comedic moments are about on par with Evans, but perhaps a bit watered down by sentiment, as Pooch is the only member of the team with a wife & a baby on the way. There were a few moments when I expected Pooch let out an exasperated sigh, adding, “I’m too old for this shit.”
Overall, The Losers is a series of generic action scenes, predictable plot “twists,” and awkward moments strung together by the occasional dash of humor. Sylvain White’s direction comes off as bumbling, and his vision of the film piecemeal, bringing to mind the idiom, “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”