The Losers (Blu-ray)
I really wanted to like THE LOSERS. Maybe it’s my affinity for the lesser known comic books or maybe the A-Team-like storyline connected with me, but I really, really wanted to like THE LOSERS. Unfortunately, the whole film felt like that friend you used to have, but now you avoid because you’ve grown up and they haven’t. Hollywood has just come too far for an unoriginal, poorly developed action film like this to still be acceptable.
When I say “A-Team-like”, I mean it. The similarities between the two films are numerous to a disturbing degree. We pick up with a team of super-soldiers whose leader disobeys an order to destroy a village when he sees 25 school children walk into a building. During his efforts to rescue said children, he and his team watch as the helicopter taking them to safety blows up in mid-air. They trace the destruction back to an evil CIA mastermind, Max (although we never really learn who he works for) that was trying to kill them. With the help of a wealthy, mysterious woman, they get the necessary funds to exact their revenge on Max.
Jason Patric portrays Max as a laughable, cartoonish villain. It was clear the filmmakers had no natural way of making him look mean and menacing, so they establish his villainy by having him kill a couple of completely innocent people. I assume this was to get a laugh from the audience, but all I could manage was an eye roll. We’ve just seen that too many times for it to be shocking or humorous and I was frustrated the filmmakers took such an easy way out on the big bad guy. But he wasn’t alone when it comes to underdeveloped, unoriginal characters. None of “the losers” (we never learn why they’re called that) offer anything we haven’t seen in a bad 80’s action series. I felt the most sorry for Chris Evans, who of course signed on to this long before he knew he was going to be playing Steve Rodgers. I’m sure if he’d known at the time of signing that he’d be leading the Avengers for years to come, he would have run out the room screaming.
The action scenes were also ruined by an overall lazy effort. None of them were anything we haven’t seen before, but the few opportunities they had for originality, they flubbed up. For example, the scene where Evans’s character points his hands at two guys as if to shoot them while a sniper shoots them from behind him was pretty cool. But the horrible one-liners diminished the effect and the poor, quick build up and lightning fast ending to the scenes made me think they just wanted to throw that scene in the film without worrying about how it got there.
So clearly, I was disappointed with THE LOSERS. I enjoyed THE A-TEAM because it had great characters and at least offered some story to go along with the ridiculous stunts. I don’t ask for a lot from my summer action films, but this film felt like recycled garbage and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t shake the feeling you’ve seen it before.
Video: Something about this transfer felt off to me, but I don’t know if it was the transfer or just the way it was shot. Everything seemed brighter than normal and “plastic-y”. And the black levels faded at times, making the darker scenes seem dull.
Audio: The audio great and given the numerous explosions and sound effects, this sounded wonderful
Action-style Storytelling (9:58): A couple of comic book guys sit in and talk about the comics and the inspiration for writing them. They allude to the idea that the comics already felt like a movie and so the transition was easy. This is great for people that already liked the comic.
Band of Buddies: Ops Training (16:03): I was hoping this would focus more on the actors involved, but no, this is more quick cuts of the making of the movie. They talk to some soldiers, focus on the Puerto Rico shoot and touch on the action shots. Nothing too in depth here.
Zoe and the Losers (5:54): Zoe Saldana and Sylvain White talk about her role in the film.
Deleted Scene (:59): Chris Noth shows up for a quick cameo for an ending that was actually better than what we got in the original cut.