The producers of the upcoming The A-Team are probably looking over their shoulders right about now.
That’s because The Losers has the in-your-face blend of action, tongue-in-cheek humor, and male bonding that The A-Team will undoubtedly be striving for. And I have a hard time believing they can do it any better.
It helps that the cast is stellar. It’s time for Gerard Butler to move over and let Jeffrey Dean Morgan take his rightful place as America’s favorite rough-hewn, cigar-chomping man-hero. Morgan is sexy, a little grizzly, and likeable (sorry Gerard.) Plus, Javier Bardem can always fill in in a pinch if Morgan’s unable to do any publicity. (Are those guys separated at birth or what?)
Morgan plays Clay, the leader of a motley crew of CIA special ops agents. A la the A-Team, they all have a role to play: Jensen (Chris Evans) is the live-wire computer hacker; Pooch (Columbus Short) can hijack anything that moves; Cougar (Oscar Jaenada) is a sharp shooter; and second-in-command Roque (Idris Elba) is a weapons expert.
After the team is set up by the CIA and left for dead, they lay low, until a mysterious sexy stranger with a seemingly limitless bankroll (Zoe Saldana) hires them to go after the ruthless arms dealer (gloriously hammy Jason Patric) who framed them.
Yeah, makes no sense. But who cares? Director Sylvain White keeps the action swift and the one-liners flying.
So why only two-and-a-half stars? Like the morally bankrupt Kick-Ass, The Losers is based on a comic book. And likeKick-Ass, the violence can be brutal. (At least this film isn’t targeting kids, or disingenuously presenting itself as some sort of ironic commentary on violence in movies.)
Look, I don’t mind all the baddies getting blown away, but a few times the violence was so disturbing, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Directors need to learn that violence on a big screen can resonate more viscerally than in a comic book. And the last thing on earth this joyride of a film needed was a buzzkill.