‘The Losers’ DVD Review

Director: Sylvain White

Starring: Jeffery Dead Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba

Plot: A team of government agents avoid being bumped of by their bosses and set out to seek serious compensation.

Review: Based on a little known yet kick-ass comic serious, the latest in a rash of varied attempts at comic book adaptations manages to do plenty right and plenty wrong. The source material is a smartly written, snappily plotted conspiracy based actioneer whose strength lies in its Seven Samurai style mix of differently skilled warriors and witty banter between them. The movie captures this well with good casting that carries and easy chemistry between them, with Dean Morgan, Evans and Saldana as the grizzled leader Clay, tech-head Jenson and girl-with-the-plan Aisha proving to be strong leads.

The excessive action of the comics is also faithfully recreated, with many scenes unapologetic in displaying its action genre influences. Slick editing gives some scenes, such as Clay and Aisha trying to gain the upper hand of each other in a hotel room cut to the music of The Kills, a sense of fun that puts it ahead of much of the rest of the market.

The movie is at its best when taking its cues from the source material. What ultimately drags it down, however, is when the movie strikes out on its own and starts adding new elements. The villian of the piece, CIA spook Max, exists in the comics as a voice on the radio and its never clear if he’s real or a creation of the CIA. In order to give the film a more tangiable baddie, they’ve created the most over-the-top, laughable character in a long time. Jason Patric completely fails to menace or threaten as Max, coming across mainly as a cheap knock-off from one of the lesser Roger Moore Bond films. Couple this with a ridiculous McGuffin – a bomb that creates a vortex that sucks islands into the sea – that only makes one appearance, and the over-all quality takes a drastic nose-dive. Really they should’ve just left well enough alone.

And Jason Patric should have what he thinks is acting confiscated.

FIVE outta TEN

"Any other comic characters for me? Any at all?"