The Losers

The Losers is derived from a short lived graphic novel whose influence from various action films is apparent.  Given that modern cinema has slavishly copied from the multi-coloured panels of comic books it seems both mediums have become reliant bedfellows.  Clearly seen in this adaptation, the series’ gritty and fast paced style is well suited within the frames of its striking cinematography.
Sent into the Bolivian jungle on a deadly mission, the members of the U.S. Special Forces, dubbed The Losers, are armed and ready.  Headed by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), their assignment becomes compromised when they just miss being targets of an assassination attempt.  Discovering they were set up by dangerous weapons dealer Max (Jason Patric), Clay and his team set out to prevent Max’s plans for nuclear armageddon with their own special brand of lethal force.
Benefiting from Sylvain White’s taught direction, The Losers is a mean and lean action fest.  White appears to have learnt from the failures of previous graphic novel adaptations by charting a narrative course and sticking with it.  He shows a good understanding of the broad canvas the story is painted on with the mix of drama and humour blended well.  What’s interesting is how its “heroes” are morally ambiguous at best despite their overall good intentions.  Their team dynamics become crucial due to Max’s many manipulative tricks and make for engaging viewing between the bullet induced feats.
Whilst the heroic characters have plenty of charisma, its villains have less impact.  This is chiefly due to Jason Patric’s performance, as he portrays Max as a charming cad prone to comedy than kills.  It’s difficult to believe such a person would be so devious and you never really feel any genuine menace despite his actions.  Despite this the rest of the production is well realised with the many fights and stunts as dazzling as the small budget allows. 
Choosing the best elements from the books, The Losers is a generally entertaining ride.  Although perhaps not as widely known as the more popular masked heroes, its cast of determined characters are put to good use in this fine rendition of graphic novel fantasy.
Rating out of 10:  7

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