The ill-timed release of The Losers comes right on the heels of the surprise hit Kick-Ass, a groundbreaking Marvel Comics adaptation which opened up #1 at the box office only a week ago. On top of that, both pictures revolve around a female heroine, a coincidence certain to lead to further comparison.
Where the genre-refreshing Kick-Ass’ introduces you to a spunky 11 year-old superhero you can’t get enough of, Zoe’s Aisha feels more like a worn-out retread right out of the Hollywood action flick recycle bin. The same can be said for the rest of this tired production, from the lame-brained plot to the cheesy f/x to the sloppy stunt work to the profusion of cartoonish, one-dimensional characters.
The story opens in the jungles of Bolivia where a crack team of U.S. Special Forces commandos led by hard-boiled Colonel Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) are on assignment to bring a drug kingpin (Peter Francis James) to justice. The other members of the elite squad include getaway car driver/daredevil pilot Pooch (Columbus Short), ruthless, money-hungry Rogue (Idris Elba), computer hacker Jensen (Chris Evans) and sharpshooting sniper Cougar (Oscar Jaenada).
The operation goes horribly wrong when their helicopter is hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and explodes into smithereens while hovering in midair. Fortunately, instead of Clay and his unit riding inside, the chopper was filled with 25 orphans they had altruistically arranged to airlift to safety.
Realizing that they’ve just been betrayed by a mole inside the CIA, the quintet opts to make believe they actually did perish in the air disaster. Trusting no one, other than Aisha (Saldana), the mysterious temptress who materializes out of nowhere to seduce Clay, they proceed to track the shadowy figure (Jason Patric) they suspect was behind the attempted hit.
That trail takes the gun-toting globetrotters from Bogota to such ports of call as Miami, Puerto Rico, Houston, Mumbai and Los Angeles. The film indulges in an array of high body-count shootouts and poorly-shot pyrotechnic displays en route to the totally predictable finale.
You know how Zoe’s multiple Oscar-winning film, Avatar, has been lauded for its breathtaking, state of the art of technical wizardry? Well, don’t expect to see anything like that in this under-budgeted homage to bad B-movies. Unfortunately, the outdated special effects employed here, like an exploding, green screen fireball everybody manages to keep one step ahead of, render the movie more laughable than suspenseful.
I’m done with this cinematic pabulum, now get out of my brain!
Fair (1 star)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, sensuality and intense violence.
In English and Spanish with subtitles.
Running time: 98 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
To see a trailer for The Losers, visit: