Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The Losers" Kick Summer Movie Season Off with a Bang

After the trailer for “The Losers” debuted at the end of January, it picked up a new title in certain circles: “The A-Team That Isn’t Going to Suck.” Only time will tell which film is victorious at the box office but, rest assured, this summer promises to have to least one enjoyable movie about a crack team of former government operatives who, finding themselves on the wrong side of the law, are forced on missions anyone else would see as suicidal while the government tries to put them away. Phew, that’s a mouthful. (That’s what she said.)

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, “The Losers” combines over-the-top visceral action with humor and swagger. Bookended by cartoonish elements borrowed from the source material, the film’s tone is well established, but perhaps the best homage to the original novel is a no-hold-barred brawl between mysterious operative Aisha (2009 “It Girl” Zoe Saldana) and the leader of The Losers, Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally getting the leading role he deserves), that ends with a hotel room engulfed in flames. Yes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is just that hot.

But I digress.

“The Losers” begins with a search-and-destroy mission deep in the Bolivian jungle that turns into a double-cross which kills 25 innocent children. Presumed dead, the only thing left for the band of rogues is to go deep undercover, find their betrayer and exact revenge. That’s where the real fun kicks in as Jason Patric turns in one of the most delightfully diabolic onscreen evil geniuses since Gerard Butler in last year’s “Law Abiding Citizen.”

On board with Aisha and Clay is his wing man Roque (the always enjoyable Idris Elba), tech whiz Jensen (Captain America himself, Chris Evans, looking like he got beat with the ugly stick), sniper Cougar (a near mute but compelling Oscar Jaenada), and Pooch (surprisingly enjoyable and charismatic Columbus Short) the man who can captain anything with an engine.

“The Losers” is a pop-y, pulp-y tongue-in-cheek wink at the action genre that’s full of flash and fun, priming audience for Summer Blockbuster Season where your brain gets some time off and movie theaters are flooded with mindless, explosive, rollicking glee.

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