‘The Losers’ certainly aren’t winners

I was in the mood for a fun movie. With all the stuff happening with Steelers, the Pirates losing 20-0 and the Pens losing in triple-overtime, I wanted something light and entertaining. From what I had seen in the previews, “The Losers” seemed to fit the bill perfectly — just a good way to forget about the past week’s shenanigans.

Make no doubt about it, this movie is based on a comic, and they make no bones about it. The intro is stylized with comic book overtones, which didn’t bug me. I certainly didn’t want to be wrapped up in some serious drama or a movie that made me think. Just a little mindless entertainment is all I sought. That’s all.

So let me phrase my feelings about this movie this way: You know how some days you really want a pizza? And you know how all pizzas aren’t created equally? Well, it’s the same way with campy movies: some rock, some fail and others are just generic.

“The Losers” falls into that “generic” category.

It features a group of elite, eccentric soldiers … each with their own specialty. Trust me when I say you’ve seen these characters before. Wise-cracking computer guy, leader with grumbly voice, quiet sniper guy, brash driver, a guy with knives … yeah, nothing new here. And, to top it off, they’re all good guys at heart. When they find out there are kids in the compound that they’re targeting for an airstrike, they go in to rescue them … which, of course, leads to dire consequences.

See, the problem is is that there’s an ultra-bad CIA guy named Max. Now, Max is the one who ordered the strike on the target. And, after the Losers rescue the kids and put them on the helicopter that was meant for them, the find out how evil Max is. Max orders the plane to shoot down the helicopter. The Losers now know that they were supposed to die after this mission. So, they fake their deaths by throwing their personal effects into the wreckage and opt to hang out in Bolivia until they can figure out who Max is and how they can get their lives back.

Enter Aisha, who tracks them down and tells them that she not only has the connections to smuggle them back into the U.S., but she also has access to cash and weapons. But the price for her cooperation is this: They must kill Max. Pretty convenient!

What follows is your average action flick fare. Over-the-top explosions. Discoveries. Plans going astray. There’s also secret agendas and even a betrayal or two. Nothing really shocking, nothing really stands out.

Well, that’s not true. Two things stood out to me. The first: I loved Max. He was just so remorsely evil and so overblown in his evilness that he ended up becoming a caricature of an evil bad guy. I sat there and chuckled every time he was on the screen because he was just so over-the-top. Think of Dr. Evil combined with Rick Santorum, and you have Max. Of course, I don’t know if that crazy evil was intended or not, but regardless, Max was my favorite part of the movie. The second: The tech guy Jensen. He has a great scene where he infiltrates a corporation by posing as a delivery guy. I won’t say anything more about it, but I laughed cause, well, it was pretty funny. Of course, now that I think about it, that scene probably stood out to me because the rest of the flick was so average — but still, I like to give props where props are due.

But after that, the rest of the movie kind of drags. Oh, they have their moments of doubt, of missing their loved ones, yadda yadda yadda., and it slows the film down to a point where it just doesn’t recover. By the time it hit the thrilling climax where the Losers finally catch up to Max, my eyes were closed and I was almost asleep. None of the characters, nor their struggle, was worth even remotely caring about.

Again, I wasn’t expecting this to be anything but a no-brainer, but even still, I think I was hoping for something with a little more substance. The dialogue does have its moments (which apparently really entertained the young teens in the audience), but unfortunately, the plot is about as generic as a movie gets … not great, not horrible … just there.

If you absolutely MUST see this flick, catch it at a matinee or wait for it to come out on cable.

2 out of 5 RPGs


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