‘The Losers’ is slick, but could have been better (IANS Film Review; Rating:***)

July 3rd, 2010 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

By Satyen K. Bordoloi
Film: “The Losers”; Director: Sylvain White; Cast: Jeffery Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada, Jason Patric; Rating: ***

Comic book adaptations are usually fun to watch. If nothing, it at least has some style, cool action sequences, and witty dialogues. Yet somewhere along the way into becoming a film, “The Losers” loses its way and ends up becoming a much lesser film that what it could have been. And yet, it’s much better than many that have come up lately.

When an attempt is made on the life of a group of five soldiers after they successfully complete a mission on foreign soil, they are forced into hiding. The leader, Clay (Morgan) wants vengeance on Max (Patric) who tried to kill them, but the rest merely want to go back to the US.

However, the entry of Aisha (Saldana) changes the equation as she promises them an entry to the US and their lives back, if they help her kill Max. Back on US soil though, things change as secrets tumble and it will take a lot of wit and quick thinking on these good soldiers, if they are to come out of the jam they find themselves in.

“The Losers” begins with great expectations. The soldiers make a daring save of a group of kids, risking their lives and completing the mission at the same time. However, the film goes downhill after this great start, with only a few moments reaching the high of the beginning.

The first meeting of Clay and Aisha as they fight ending in poses that seem as if they are making love is ingeniously shot. And so is the one in which Jensen (Evans) displays his telekinetic abilities.

Yet, even for an action film, it has to be based on something. And that, for “The Losers”, could have been politics. There’s no trace of any in this film which could have done well to have covered a greater political intrigue and massive cover-ups, like say the Bourne series whose shaky cinematography it adopts to good effect.

The acting, especially of Jeffery Dean Morgan is believable. First noticed for his portrayal as the Comedian in “Watchmen”, he is a talent to watch out for.

Despite its lack of lustre in the storyline, the decent wit, good cinematography, slick editing and good action take care of a few of the film’s discrepancies - enough only to mask it but not enough to make it a great movie that it could easily have been.

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