Movie #19: The Losers

The Losers, ironically, had a lot going for it. It was adapted from a comic book (which is always a good start these days, since comic movies are so hot); and it featured some big-budget action scenes as well as some geek-friendly marquee up-and-comers such as Jeffrey Dean Morgan (remember him from The Watchmen?), Chris Evans (who has already been in a few comic book movies, such as Fantastic Four, Push, and soon-to-be Captain America), and geek-goddess Zoe Saldana (from Star Trek and Avatar, as if you didn’t know). The story is simple, yet compelling enough: an elite commando team, led by Morgan’s character Clay, go into hiding after they are framed for a black op gone bad. Saldana’s character Aisha finds them in Bolivia and recruits them to help her kill Max, the elusive CIA operative responsible for what happened to the team. It’s a simple revenge, team action movie, but it suffered from just as many disadvantages. First, the pace was uneven. Some scenes were filled with testosterone-boiling slow-motion against a bed of rock music like a beer commercial. Others were almost documentary-style, with shaky-cam scenes of fluorescent-lit dialogue. Second, while Evans was great with his easy charm and smart-alecky humour, Jason Patric was completely miscast as the villain Max. Appearing like an aging frat boy, yet acting like a psychopath, he just does not pull off any of the supposedly clever lines that his character spits out. He comes across more like an annoying older brother than a megalomaniac. Max’s plot is not believable and it all seems contrived just to make him the villain. He’s completely one-dimensional. To top it all off, after some exciting stunts and action sequences, I found the ending unsatisfying. I get the impression that they were trying to set up a series of sequels (or at least one), but that doesn’t mean they should rob this movie of its closure. Despite its other failings, the movie did make me care a bit about the members of this team of “losers” enough that I wouldn’t mind watching a sequel (surprisingly). So I guess it’s mission accomplished (sort of). (3.5 out of 5)

19 down, 31 to go!

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