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"The Losers" Review

Does this premise sound familiar? A squad of elite, wisecracking soldiers are framed for an atrocity and declared dead by their government after being sold out by their CIA handler. Almost like The A-Team, right? Well, in this case, it's the comic book The Losers - no, I haven't read it either - under discussion and there isn't much to discuss.

The squad - led by The Comedian from Watchmen and including Fantastic Four's Human Torch and three other guys no one but their parents would probably recognize - were in Bolivia to target a compound for bombing when they spotted two dozen kids on site. When their controller, Max, refuses to abort the mission, they rescue the kids and load them on a chopper to safety. Unfortunately, Max orders the chopper shot down, killing the kids and (presumably) The Losers. Set up in menial jobs in Bolivia, the hot Smurf girl from Avatar (aka Lt. Uhrua) approaches them with an offer: she'll sneak them back into the country and bankroll their campaign to kill Max for her. Double and triple-crosses and general incomprehensibility ensue.

While there are some decent action scenes and the film is shot and edited colorfully, it never makes any sense. Max is supposed to be CIA, but he's on the hunt to buy "snukes" - a sonic weapon that can do the damage of a nuke without the radiation or waxy yellow buildup - to apparently deal around the world to terrorist organizations. Huh? Played by Jason Patric in a weird turn that seems like he's trying to move into Christopher Walken territory, he's not really menacing because he's a clown.

There's not much reason for the film's globe-trotting - Miami, Houston, L.A., New Mexico, Mumbai, Dubai, and (I think) Gary, IN (just kidding) are stamps in the passport - and while some of the Losers' banter is amusing, the film is a textbook example on how not to use "Don't Stop Believing" in a movie. My cousin has been ranting that Chris Evans is wrong to play Captain America: The First Avenger and I'm beginning to think she may have a point. The ending scene at a soccer game is just stupid and unfunny. And they're clearly trying to set up a sequel that won't get made.

Score: 4/10. Catch it on cable.


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