Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Losers.

Sylvain White's The Losers is a stylish film that has almost no substance to it whatsoever.

Based off the comic series by Andy Diggle and Jock, the film tells the story of five soldiers who, for reasons that are somewhat poorly constructed, are betrayed when they refuse to kill a drug lord, and instead rescue 25 children (while still killing the drug lord, mind). In the film's strongest scene, the group elect to put the children on the helicopter to save them first, and watch dismayed as it is blown out of the sky, killing all. Presumed dead, the five are out for revenge. The first issue of the comic, if you're curious, is here. It's a lot more talky than the film, and the first issue does compromise a chunk of the film, so spoilers and the such. I never read the series, so my exposure of it is limited to this first issue, none of which appealed to me in fairness.

White's film, however, is drawn fro the school of slow motion, character cool moment of film making. Throughout the entire of the film, characters will appear in a really sweet looking pose, which will cause you to say, "Really? Shouldn't he, be, like, ducking?" Quite often this moment includes guns, bullets, and some decent music. White's name has been made making music videos and working for people such as Spike Jonze, and it shows, though he lacks Jonze's ability to add substance to his films. The characters are, without any exception, described by their look and their job. The Cool Sniper. The Good Looking But Geeky Tech Guy. The Family Man Driver. The Fem Fatale. The Boss's Buddy. The Colonel. The Bad Guy. The Bad Guy's Bad Guy Who Shoots People. The names pretty much describe who they are and what they do, and it pretty much also describes where the film's problems lay, in that the characters are, by and large, cliches of the action humour genre that is so popular these days.

Yet, for a good portion of it, The Losers speeds along nicely. The actors play of each other well, with Chris Evans as the Tech Guy perhaps the most lively of the lot, though Oscar Jaenada as the hat wearing sniper occupies his position in the film as the cool, mostly silent guy pretty well. Certainly, the scenes where he flips the tip of his hat after shooting someone are amusing enough. Either way, the actors deliver their lines quickly, and the dialogue is quick and snappy, and Zoe Saldana as the Fem Fatale Aisha seems not to mind that she's primarily their for transparent reasons. Even Jason Patric appears to be amusing himself as the Bad Guy With No Sane Plan who appears to be in charge of a lot of powerful organisations (another flaw in the film that megalomaniac villains are in charge of all the American security forces, and no one seems to notice). His one gloved hand does remind you of Michael Jackson, and you do wonder if he will begin touching young boys inappropriately during the film, but mostly, he's just funny as he shoots employees and, later, is mugged on a bus.

It's only at the end that the film falls apart, due entirely to its lack of characterisation. There's betrayal that has no real foundation and, most unfortunately, the film ends with what can only be said as, "Jason Patric, we like you, so we'll employ you in the sequel."

Truthfully, if you want to see the cool bits, watch the trailer, and wait for it to come out on DVD or the television. If you got a burning desire, it's not a bad way to spend a few hours, though there are better ones, too.


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