Director: Sylvain White Release Date: 28/5/10 Review by Scott Murphy They say things come in threes, and this could prove true with The Losers bringing the first of three men-on-a-mission movies to be released this summer, the other two being The A Team and The Expendables. The comparisons with the former are obvious as both focus on a group of soldiers who are double-crossed and framed for a crime they did not commit. This is not just an A-Team rip off though as this movie is actually based on the Vertigo Comic of the same name, which is pretty damn good, it must be said. The plot begins with the team on a mission in Bolivia when they realise they have been duped by the nefarious Max (Jason Patric). The team try to save a group of children from an airstrike, by packing them on a rescue helicopter. The helicopter is then blown out of the sky causing an international outcry. The world believes the team also died in the blast, so they are posthumously blamed for the entire disaster. After this is where Aisha (Zoe Saldana) enters, Saldana is apparently the current go-to-actress for feisty action women following her roles in Star Trek and Avatar, appears as she offers to bankroll their way back to the U.S. and get revenge on our villain Max but she may not be all she seems. This is most certainly not one of those contemporary action films with twisty plot points and taut action like the Bourne films and their ilk. In fact, the director Sylvain White has taken just about every action movie plot cliché you can imagine and thrown it on to the screen with gleeful abandon and it has all the potential elements to be rubbish but it is not, in fact, it is hugely entertaining. This is in large part to the cast who have great chemistry and create characters who are funny, likable and, most importantly, you root for throughout the movie. There is the central pairing between Clay (Jefferey Dean Morgan), the laidback leader of the group, and Roque (Idris Elba), the more up-tight second-in-command, who have that love/hate dynamic and bicker like an old married couple, while Pooch (Columbus Short) as the transportation expert and Cougar (Oscar Jaenada) as the enigmatic ace sniper are also good value and, even, Aisha manages to make an impression in amongst all the macho posturing. It is, however, Chris Evans as Jensen who is the comic relief that steals the film with his goofy antics and stream of one line zingers. His crowning achievement coming when he has to break into to a company headquarters to steal some computer files (don’t they always), which is not only the best scene in the film but also a the best use of Journeys “Don’t Stop Believin” (take that Glee) and ends with Jensen taking some guards out with his finger guns. The film might be stolen by Evans but running him close is Jason Patric as baddie, Max, who seems to be channelling every over the top, wild eyed, scenery chewing action movie villain here, who often comes across a part evil genius, part deranged idiot. He is very OTT but obviously having great fun in the role. One thing that did seem strange for a film with such macho bluster and has been adapted from an ultra-violent comic book is its slight squeamishness towards violence as many of the deaths happen off-screen and the violence is dialled way back from the original source material. Even with the argument that this is to give the film a greater audience it seems a strange move considering the audience that will probably see this and also considering the films general throw back feeling. Also the films love of skip-frames, cartoony captions, slo-mo and other techniques do conspire to make the film look dated and are over used with a slo-mo team walk looking particularly clichéd and cheesy. But then again most action movie fans will lap up the clichés and the OTT moments and so they should as this may not have the best plot, greatest dialogue or finest direction but it is an entertaining gun-toting romp and possibly most importantly it never makes itself out to be anything other than that plus it has enough explosives set pieces and witty banter to keep the audience entertained throughout. So if you enjoy action films then sit back, switch your brain off and enjoys this film for what it is big dumb fun. Photobucket