The Losers

Film
2 out of 5 stars
The Losers

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Boo-hoo for these “losers.” Here are some of the cool things they do: They fire large, exotic, presumably illegal weapons off the tops of city buildings. They flirt with sinewy Zoe Saldana, who, between her updated Uhura in Star Trek and Na’vi princess in Avatar, has hit the nerd sweet spot. And, most enviably, they exist in a world where they don’t have to watch The Losers—and weep for the vanilla trashiness that dominates our mainstream.

There has to be a term coined for these bloodless, gung ho superteam movies, crap like Fantastic Four and G.I. Joe, films that seem inspired by South Park’s puppeteered Team America: World Police but without the irony. Plastic explosives, maybe? Blithely destructive of foreign lands and as smooth as a Ken doll’s crotch, The Losers is the ultimate example, scraped from the bottom of the comic-book barrel, where writer Andy Diggle’s figurine-like characters first had their exploits in an exciting War on Terror. There’s commando leader Clay (Watchmen’s rakish Morgan), demolitions expert Roque (Idris Elba, paying bills), motormouthed jokester Jensen (Chris Evans)—and here I really must stop before I begin to sound like a Mattel salesman.

You can choose to follow the plot after an initial Bolivian black-op goes bad and the squad is abandonded by the CIA (bummer), but such exercises are pointless. Load up on popcorn and wait for the coma to hit. You’ve got devilish Jason Patric providing occasional distraction as a snarky, underutilized villain named Max. Every once in while, a generic computerized effect goes off, making you wonder about the air-conditioned lives of moviemakers.—Joshua Rothkopf

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