26 April 2010 | Quinoa1984
a guilty Saturday-afternoon pleasure
The Losers isn't a movie I can recommend outright as a really fantastic example of its genre, far from it. It has some logical gaps, especially towards its ending with the character resolutions (or lack thereof), and the use of slow-motion in the action scenes already dates it to an extent by its 'Hipness'. But it's also got just the right attitude, humor and energy to get by as what I might call a 'Saturday afternoon' quickie. This is the kind of flick that a guy would watch when he should be doing something else around the house or something. It's tough and unapologetic and a little too slick to be anything else than what it is. I enjoyed The Losers against my better judgment.
The premise and follow-through is kind of predictable, as it's about a group of elite fighters (think the A-Team) who get double-crossed by a rogue CIA agent and find a possible entry point with a mysterious woman to get back at him and clear their names. We see who will probably betray who, or what twists might occur, and sure the BIG WEAPON (in caps) that is used by Max (played with a cartoon character debonair by Jason Patric) is so preposterous as to be wholly entertaining. But the cast is up for playing these parts with every ounce of fun and excitement in the material, and I liked seeing the camaraderie between Morgan, Evans and Elba (the latter really coming into his own as a star), and Zoe Saldana shows off again how she's becoming a formidable talent in Hollywood films.
It's a hard movie to always defend for its plot inconsistencies, but it works in its own lets-just-play-it-loose logic. And sometimes the actors just cut loose, which is nice; seeing Chris Evans somehow inject life into using 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey in an espionage scene is one of the most brilliant things of the year (if only because, simply, how could you use that song again after the Sopranos). And when it comes time for the BIG action set-piece at the end, it gives a good dose of what action movie fans look for: plausible implausibility, some gritty violence (albeit PG-13, it's still pretty intense), and a few real surprises in the course of events, for better and worse. I can't stress enough that it's not a particularly high achievement in its sort of movie. But for what it sets out to achieve, it does alright, which is enough sometimes.