Review: THE LOSERS (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Friday, 28 May 2010

Review: THE LOSERS (2010)


Been there, done that. That's pretty much sum up for THE LOSERS, an awfully mediocre and (sadly) uninspired globe-trotting action comedy. Never mind the fact the movie is actually based on DC Vertigo comic since it's no difference than most like-minded genre you have seen countless times before.

A team of roughneck U.S. mercenaries, lead by no-nonsense Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), cocky second-in-command Roque (Idris Elba), hacker expert Jensen (Chris Evans), pilot Pooch (Columbus Short), and sniper Cougar (Oscar Jaenada), are assigned to infiltrate the enemy site in the Bolivian jungle. But their would-be successful mission fails abruptly when they watch helplessly, as 25 imprisoned children are brutally killed in a helicopter explosion. The government, spearheaded by rogue CIA operative Max (Jason Patric), has denied the five mercenaries' existence and left them for dead. With no passports or any form of proper identifications to return to their homeland, they are trapped in Bolivia until the appearance of a mysterious beauty named Aisha (Zoe Saldana) offers them a golden chance: help her to find and kill Max, who is planning a world domination, and she'll make sure they get back in the U.S. The five mercenaries have no choice but to accept the offer and next thing they know, nothing is what it seems in the first place.

Despite the involvement of credible screenwriters team of Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt, it's a pity that they toss out whatever level of characterization and competent storyline in favor for wisecracking jokes and sketchily-written plot. Not surprisingly, the characters are nothing more than strict caricatures. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is certainly tailored to play a brooding macho leader Clay, while Chris Evans is appropriately nerdy as Jensen. Zoe Saldana is looking feisty in her femme fatale role but too bad her character is overshadowed by the mere surface of her beauty. And of all the actors here, only Jason Patric fares the worst. Perhaps no actor in recent memory, playing a villain so gleefully over-the-top it's hard to swallow most of the time.

First-time action director Sylvain White (2007's STOMP THE YARD) does know how to work with the camera to get most of the excitement here. The action scenes are definitely stylish and kinetic, but it's just too bad he have to result with the annoyingly frantic cinematography and quick editing to complete the whole deal.

The biggest mistake of all is the filmmakers' decision to end the movie with a sadly anti-climatic note. For a movie that leaves (almost) no impression at all, such open ending is definitely a bad idea anyway because THE LOSERS is simply a forgettable one.

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