Movie Review: The Losers

by Trevan McGee on April 23, 2010

in Print Reviews

“The Losers,” the latest from Sylvain White (director of “Stomp The Yard”) is an excellent example of not judging a movie by its trailer.

In 90-second form, “The Losers” looks like a rapid-fire, self-aware action/comedy with a pointed soundtrack and likable ensemble. In reality, “The Losers” is painfully unremarkable, completely by-the-numbers sleeper that’s only remotely positive element is being restrained.

the losers 2010Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Clay, the leader of a covert military unit called, you guessed it, “The Losers.” Clay and his ragtag, trying-too-hard-to-be-quirky team go about a standard search and destroy mission when, at the last minute, he discovers that their target is full of children being used as drug mules.

Naturally, he and his crew intervene, save the day and all is well, but Max (Jason Patric), the mysterious man on the other end of the radio, has other plans.

“The Losers” is full of the type of contrived setups and hammy dialogue that a script editor on the set of a SyFy made-for-TV movie would send back for a rewrite.

“Take him with you, keep him safe,” Morgan says to a small boy who tries to hand him his favorite stuffed bear.

“When this is over, we’re going to finish that dance,” whisper-talks Zoe Saldana’s perpetually shiny Aisha.

the losers saldana 2010Speaking of the cast of characters, the performances in “The Losers” are either empty and interchangeable or scene-chewingly over-the-top. Morgan, Saldana, Idris Elba, Oscar Jaenada, and Holt McCallany all belong firmly in Column A. Chris Evans’ techie Jensen and Patric’s silly Max belong in Column B.

But the worthless story and “crackerjack” characters can be excused if things blow up real good–this is an action movie after all. Unsurprisingly, “The Losers” fails there as well. The movie picks up and discards stylistic tones at a fevered pace, but never finds one that actually fits. As a result, the climactic action scene barely makes a ripple.

Oh, and those curious about the movie’s sense of humor need look no further than the use of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” to punctuate a particularly unfunny scene. If the previous sentence made you involuntarily shiver (and I hope a lot you did), then don’t see “The Losers” unless it’s three years from now on network TV.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

Actually, I thought the scene with the techie guy going in and robbing the big corp to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” was fantastic.

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2 Josh May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

Actually, I thought the scene with the techie guy going in and robbing the big corp to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” was fantastic.

Reply

3 Tony T May 7, 2010 at 10:03 am

Started off ok, had a Rundown feel to it the first few minutes (Aha, Peter Berg had a hand in both, no wonder). Was or is this really a successful comic book? Sad. Maybe A-Team will be better.

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4 Tony T May 7, 2010 at 10:03 am

Started off ok, had a Rundown feel to it the first few minutes (Aha, Peter Berg had a hand in both, no wonder). Was or is this really a successful comic book? Sad. Maybe A-Team will be better.

Reply

5 Evan May 16, 2010 at 2:13 am

yah actually the don’t stop believin scene was hilarious… i get the last song syndrome already on that song

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6 Evan May 16, 2010 at 2:13 am

yah actually the don’t stop believin scene was hilarious… i get the last song syndrome already on that song

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7 Paul March 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

To Tony, Comment #3
“Started off ok, had a Rundown feel to it the first few minutes”

I can’t believe you actually said that! When I watched this I had nearly the same exact thought. Crazy.

Paul
Webmaster, Home Theater Hack

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8 Amiel Sac April 13, 2011 at 6:30 am

“The movie picks up and discards stylistic tones at a fevered pace.”

This movie really makes you feel that you’re getting there. And then it makes a sudden turn, making you wonder where that detour will take you. it’s as if you keep on traveling without really knowing where you’re going. anybody get my point?

Amiel

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