1 hour, 38 minutes
Five CIA black ops agents, framed for a crime they didn't commit, help the innocent while on the run from...wait, sorry. Let's try that again.
The Losers, a US Special Forces unit led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen) are on a mission in Bolivia to stop a vile drug runner. The op goes south when the mysterious and maniacal Max (Jason Patric, Sleepers) turns the op on its head and leaves the Losers for dead. Clay and his men hide out in South America until Clay is approached by Aisha (Zoe Saldana, Star Trek), who offers them the means necessary to kill Max and reclaim their lives.
The premise is solid, the trailers exciting; so why, on opening weekend, did the Losers come in fourth? A month-old animated dragon flick, J-Lo's big, but juicy booty romp, and an NBC Must See TV gimmick edged them out of the top spot. In the second week, they continued their losing streak. The iconic horror slasher topped the weekend, no surprise, but again, those flicks from last week kept the Losers down. Hell, even Brendan Fraser beat them with that God-awful-looking, CGI save-the-forest pukefest.
Roque (Idris Elba, RocknRolla), Jensen (Chris Evans, Cellular), Pooch (Columbus Short, Armored) and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) make up the rest of Clay's unit. Roque is the most confrontational while Pooch mostly stares at his wedding ring. Jensen always tries a little too hard to be lovable, and Cougar is as cool as Danny Trejo under a shade tree sipping lemonade from a stripper's belly button. They get the job done, but they bicker and bitch, especially after Aisha becomes part of the group.
Patric is exceptional as the unpredictable Max. He's like a boy, gleeful at the thought of scorching ants with a magnifying glass. His henchman, Wade (rising 'That Guy' Holt McCallany, Vantage Point), is s proper right hand man. The Losers, by comparison, are largely forgettable, although their destructive missions are impressive.
The explosive missions, shoot-outs, fighting all rock even if a scene or two is unnecessary. I can't even recall how many things the Losers blew to hell. I would have liked to see more blood and guts. Not to spoil things, but explain to me how there was not at LEAST a stray finger or elbow strewn about the crash site during their establishing story?!
Max surrounds himself with a ton of lovely women in one scene you'll wish would last longer. But the Losers are the real hotness; courtesy of Cougar, Jensen and Aisha. Zoe Saldana is a lovely woman, and director Sylvain White gives the audience lots of hip-swinging, hair-bouncing, slow-motion shots. It'd be nicer if Saldana actually had some thickness to jiggle in those scenes. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but Zoe's scrawny frame makes Nicole Kidman look like she's got back.
The Money Shot
The Losers has substance, action, decent performances but suffers from a bit too much style. It wasn't so much style as it was timing and the lack of big names that hurt the Losers at the box office. Only the big actors draw audiences in. I like Morgan, but what's he done aside from the being the dead guy in Watchmen? Patric has a solid resume, but who except Lost Boys fans recognizes him? Maybe the 2010 box office only has room for an A-Team, not the B-Team.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010