Directed by Sylvain White
My expectations going into this film were off the charts. And by off the charts I mean in the red, deep, deep, deep into the red. Not just zero, below zero. The trailer for this film gave me the impression of a very generic action film that was going to try hard to be anything but. And after watching the film, I was left with the same impression… only slightly different. That slight difference being that the film was actually pretty damn awesome.
There’s no doubt that despite the formulaic plot lines and the oh so obvious, you don’t even expect it, double twists, this film works on a very kinetic level. It just has a shit-load of energy. And the dialogue (though at times generic) comes alive and creates a banter back and forth between this group of friends/soldiers that is often times a joy to watch. And that’s the level on which “The Losers” transcends itself and becomes better than it has any right to be, on the merits of the chemistry between its cast members. Pretty much everyone is perfect in their role. Yes, even Chris Evans, who before this movie, I cringed every time his name was mentioned, especially as relating to him being Captain America. Now, I almost look forward to that picture. His jokes aren’t always the funniest, but after the scene where he goes undercover singing “Don’t Stop Believing” it becomes incredibly hard not to cheer for him.
It’s often been said that an action film is only as strong as its big bad, and in the case of this film, that’s almost true. Jason Patric plays bad guy Max, and you can tell that they tried just a little too hard with him. I believe that Mr. Patric was trying to channel Joker levels of theatrics, and for a character (and film) this grounded in “reality,” it just doesn’t work all that well. Sometimes he comes across as extremely badass and other times, he is obviously just an overblown comic book baddie. But even with a bad guy as bi-polar as Max, “The Losers” still won’t quit. Sylvain White has created some very impressive action sequences that are made all the more visceral with the choices of music that play out behind them. I know that a lot of people hate how dated soundtracks can make a film, but I’ve always been of the mindset that if handled correctly, licensed music can always make a film better. And “The Losers” is a perfect example of this. Would the film have worked with an excellent film score? Yes. Would it have had the same level of energy that rock music provides? No.
Overall I have to say that I was very impressed with this film. It’s quite likely that my viewing of the film was completely coloured due to my low expectations, but that’s not something that anyone can really help. At the end of the day, you either enjoy a movie or you don’t. And I really did enjoy “The Losers.”