A tale of double cross and revenge centred upon the members of an elite U.S. Special Forces unit sent into the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. The team Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar find themselves the target of a lethal betrayal instigated from inside by a powerful enemy known only as Max.
The Losers is based upon the comic series written by Andy Diggle with artwork mostly by Jock. The series ran for thirty two issues from 2003 to 2006 and was published by Vertigo comics. The film adaptation centres around the team of operatives on their quest to discover the source and reason for their betrayal and to take revenge as they see fit.
Overall the film comes across as quite a mixed experience, early on events are presented in quite a simplistic manner offering little substance and struggling to really draw the audience in. As events take shape there is a feel of predictability to the story as it moves towards a seemingly inevitable conclusion. As things progress however, it finally gets around to fleshing out some of the characters a little further and by taking a few twists and turns the film develops a little more depth and begins to generate some interest with the viewer.
Contrary to the impression from the trailer the action sequences are quite light, and at times a little hard to follow given the editing style used. This is most prevalent early in the film during a brawl scene which story wise makes little sense, though becomes less of a problem as the movie progresses. There are some fun action scenes which are entertaining and the effects hold up well enough with the occasional misstep that again pulls the audience out of the movie. For this reviewer there was a very specific shot in the trailer that held much promise however falls disappointingly flat due to a poor effects shot in the final edit.
The performances from the actors is also mixed, Jeffrey Dean Morgan fills his role with a reserved charisma that he does so well, Chris Evans manages to deliver his comedic moments with enthusiasm and fun which proves entertaining, the remaining cast vary from reasonable to mediocre and what I can only describe as something of a bizarre performance from Jason Patric in his role. Patric’s scenes come across quite jarring compared with the rest of the movie delivering a very different tone which doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the film. It would be interesting to know how director Sylvain White approached Patric’s scenes and if they were intended to come across as they do.
That isn’t to say this film is without its charm, there are varying points throughout the film where everything comes together well, the cast at times display a good chemistry and the scenes, action and dialogue give the audience something fun and enjoyable to take in. Unfortunately this just doesn’t happen often enough leaving too much of the film as more of a lost opportunity than a great film.
If like me you are a fan of the comics and have all the trades or issues sitting in your collection you’ll most likely want to check this out at least to see how the adaptation has worked out, hopefully you’ll find something to enjoy in here. For those not acquainted with the comics you’ll find a light action film with its own quirky style that works on some levels but just can’t remain consistent throughout.
I give this film 2.5 stars and it is currently in cinemas.