The weather is getting warmer, which means it must be time for some movies about BLOWING STUFF UP!
And so we have “The Losers,” based on a comic book originally set in WWII but updated by Andy Diggle. The name originally signified that they were all officers who had lost men in the war, but now it means they’re the usual motley crew of lovable rag-tag tough guys as quick with a quip as they are with the various mechanisms they have for creating mayhem, and almost as quick as they are to come to each other’s aid or defy authority. These guys are the fists and fury equivalent of a boy band, each member with his own adorable quirks, awesome proficiency, and cool call sign name that makes them sound like extras from “Top Gun.” And there’s just enough variation among them that you can pick your own favorite. There’s the sharpshooter who’s silent, but deadly (Ã“scar Jaenada as Cougar). There’s the scary-looking guy with the scar who seems to have a rather short fuse (Idris Elba as Roque). There’s the cute computer whiz with a taste for whimsical t-shirts (Chris Evans as Jensen). There’s the sweetheart family man who can master any known vehicle on land, sea, or air (Columbus Short as Pooch). And big daddy, the mastermind (Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clay).
It’s sort of “Mission Impossible” and “The Three Musketeers” crossed with “The A-Team.” There’s the sniper, the weapons expert, the techie, the transportation guy, and the leader. They got mad skillz so they are only brought in on the blackest of black ops, so secret it’s amazing even they know who they are.
We meet them in Bolivia, where they are on a mission to tag the hideout of a drug dealer so that it can be air-bombed, under the direction of a Charlie of Charlie’s Angels mysterioso they’ve never seen named Max. But when they see that the dealer is using children as mules to transport the drugs it turns out the big old tough guys are also big old softies. Can our hardy little team fight off a zillion Bolivian bad guys with AK-47s and rescue 25 cute little kids, one with a teddy bear (presumably not being used as a place to hide cocaine)? As a former Vice Presidential candidate might say, “You betcha!”
But it’s a set-up. Things go terribly wrong and The Losers are framed and believed killed. When a mysterious woman named Aisha (“Avatar’s” Zoe Saldana) offers to get them back to the US if they will help her go after Max, they agree.
The Losers have brash, raffish charm, the action scenes are well-staged, the explosions are really big, the bad guy (Jason Patric) is entertainingly twisted, and nobody takes themselves too seriously. Pass the popcorn!