Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Review: The Losers

The one thing that keeps this in the realm of film territory, is the fact that yes, it is based off a comic book series, but that doesn't mean we always have to be reminded of that. Adaptations are of course, a way to be loyal, but also re-interpret. And in that sense, this movie becomes a a film. A film with sly wit, grungy sexiness ("Sexiness"... Is that even a word?) and slick action. But my favorite part?The surprises. Not huge plot twists, but charming little gems of charisma the script reveals it has for us as we watch.

And that, my fellow tree-climbers, is a feat in itself.

The Losers are are originally not so unlucky. They were an elite black-ops team consisting of Clay (Dean Morgan), Jensen (Evans), Roque (Elba), Pooch (Short) and Cougar (Jaenada). There is a well executed  reaction from Saldana's Aisha, if you can catch it, she snickers at the inherit silliness of the nick-names, perhaps thinking what a man thing to do. They are sent to a Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. Though when we meet them, they're playing cards and ragging on each other. Blind Man's Bluff actually. Off to a good start already. That is until, they spot kids being used as drug mules being loaded into the compound they just marked for a incoming jet. Attempting to call it in, they get jammed and fooled by a voice known only as Max. So they high-tail it inside and rescue the kids themselves, eventually getting them in a stand by helicopter to safety.

I'll leave it at that, but the next two minutes that happens establishes them with the moniker, "The Losers". And then we get beginning titles and the film get's better and snarkier every frame that roles on. "The Losers", "Losers", or just plain old "Loser" is heard through out the film. As are other bits of dialogue I rather liked. Going back to that wit I spoke of, this script get's sassy at times and it's always enjoyable. Like this here:
Roque: "Okay you stay with us but if anything smells like a trap I get to put a bullet in your skull. Does that sound fair?"
Aisha: "That sounds fun."
Jensen: "Sounds like my parents."
This a fully functioning team, but that isn't to say they can't think for themselves as well. Which is better then blindly following through with the film's plot. These characters have quirks that separate them from being bland. Chris Evans is a the team techie, but he also supplies a lot of the quick comedy in the film I found myself enjoying. "She's got the gun pointed at my dick! Why not my head?!" Roque in particular, chimes in with his sentiments for the day's take. He sees the impracticality in restoring their lives. He knows he's lucky to be alive, and smuggled back into the states at that, now he just wants out. 

This film has the confidence to be bold and snarky, but restrained and straight forward, no bubble-gum filler. The main goon of the film, Max, is played by Jason Patric, who sometimes gets a film in his grasp where he can show us just why he's so cool. With this one, he gets to say, "Hey, I can be a real prick of a villain if you let me." Though at times, it appeared as if he was having just a little too much fun. though I'd rather to much, then too little. it was much appreciated. Jeffery Dean Morgan is an actor with the real deal presence a lot of guys want. He's smooth, cool, tough, horse voice and kind eyes that might just fuck you over though if you're not careful. I like that. Here he plays Colonel Franklin Clay as a who loves his job. Once that's gone, it nice to see him unwind just a little... Stuck in Bolivia, he attends a cock-fight, drink in hand with Roque.

A few minutes later he's eating a steak and gets hit on by Aisha (Saladana). A few minutes after that, they end up in the hotel room and exchange these words:
Aisha: "I have a business proposition for you Clay."
Clay: "Oops... Where'd you accent go?"
Aisha: "Oops..." (She ducks his punch and rolls backwards)
Salanda had fun stepping out of blue skin and into the role of a sexy spy with an eyebrow piercing and loves every second of it. And that's always enjoyable to see actors having fun.

Sylvain White worked closely with the creators of the comic and did his best to translate it to the screen in the right way. I liked the action, it wasn't over bearing, or trying too hard to blow people's minds because it was summer precursor. Sylvain stepped up and took control of a nice property, and gave it the treatment it deserved, instead of the bullshit it could have been. I wonder if audiences even realized it was an adaptation from a comic arch? Probably not, people don't generally care where it comes from, as long at it's on the screen.

This film, in a context, is refined A-Team, although that team was the way it was on purpose. I gave A-Team a favorable review because it was real funny and crazy enough for me to just sit back. I'm giving this one 3 stars because it moved itself away form crazy, and stuck with slick comedy, and refined action, with an actual plot in between the scenes of mayhem. These people have other things to say besides orders on the battle field. So for Jensen and his mouth, Clay and his swag and the nice usage of The Kills song "I R Fever" laid over a rather inspired fight scene--I dub thee a 3 even film.

Munki out. 

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