The Losers 2010
I’m continuing my journey to watch the last of the most major comic book films that I’ve missed these past five years and it’s almost astonishing that I’ve put this film off for so long. While it wasn’t a big hit in 2010 when it was released, it is one of the many comic book films featuring Chris Evans in a major role. It’s somewhat surprising that it has such a low rating, and I’m curious if any of it has to do with the marketing or just the time it was released as I watched this film with little to no expectations and absolutely loved the hell out of it. It reminded me a little bit of a combination between Tropic Thunder with less comedy and Two Guns with more coherence.
Now the Losers isn’t without its flaws. It is still a comic book movie and so it seems to have felt the need to add in some extra bit of mad villainy that is above and beyond a typical action movie. Here, the super villain is Max. He’s basically a Lex Luthor type, he’s ruthless, he’s extremely rich, and he’s very powerful. At least powerful in the sense that he has people and resources under his control, and he’s able to kill people without having to worry about legal repercussions. But for some reason, there is the addition of a ridiculous sci-fi weapon that seems to be included either because it was in the comic book, or as an excuse to include a CGI shot of an entire island imploding. Either way, the addition of these “snooks” go a little bit too far into the realm of incredulity. They could have just been some other type of bomb in general without needing to make something up and it would have still been just as effective.
But as for the characters, the film does a quick job at setting up who these characters are, makes you know that they are the good guys, and also makes you know that Max is an out and out bad guy. And that way is by having them save a bus full of kids from an air strike, only to have them get killed anyway when the chopper is shot down because it was assumed the Losers team was on board. And when your team consists of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, and Chris Evans, it’s a team to be reckoned with. Evans’s Jensen was by far my favorite as the comic relief and a never ending supply of awesome t-shirts. Pooch and Cougar were also fun in their smaller roles even though Cougar had very few lines as the sniper of the group. In general, it was also just nice to see a very diverse group of heroes. Out of the main group of six characters, three were Black and one was Hispanic. The initial outsider of the group, Zoe Saldana also played her role quite nicely as a badass in her own right who held her own with the rest of the guys without ever having to call out the fact that she was a woman. Though it was somewhat unfortunate that there had to be the obligatory romance between her and Morgan’s Clay, complete with PG-13 sex scene.
The plot itself does get somewhat convoluted and difficult to follow as the Losers go from locale to locale, complete with a very stylish looking label embedded in the scenery of the establishing shots, and the film is more or less a series of mini-heists as they have to work together to get the next piece of the puzzle or get themselves out of their current situation. But that’s also what makes this film so much fun, as the situations escalate, the plans become bigger and more complicated and it is fun to watch them all play out. There’s also the added element of the double cross, though unfortunately it’s used in one of the worst ways possible. The first betrayal comes in a slightly more expected way as Saldana was always the outsider of the team and doubt has been cast on her from the very beginning. It does come as a bit of a surprise when she does come back around after the real betrayal of Roque comes to light. Though this one was a little less impactful and felt more like a twist for twist’s sake. Aside from some minor conflict between Roque and Clay, there wasn’t much foreshadowing of his betrayal earlier in the movie. It’s possible that it does exist in subtle ways that weren’t obvious during a first time viewing.
The other part of this film that works well is the humor laced throughout. Jensen especially is the Wade Wilson of the team, although he isn’t nearly as motormouthed as Deadpool, he still provides most of the comedy through his flippant attitude and t-shirts like his bright pink “Go Petunias” shirt for his niece’s grade school soccer team. Max and his henchman Wade also have a fun dynamic that is part of Max’s supervillain appeal. Wade is quite competent, but he is also entirely complicit with Max’s plans, willing to toss a businessman off a roof with nothing but a nod from Max. Even though that nod wasn’t a throw-off-the-roof nod, but merely an intimidate-through-violence nod. The action itself was also quite a bit of fun, with hints of style tossed in here and there along with the occasional colorful locale, especially the almost entirely red hotel room towards the end and quite a few explosions. It was fun from start to finish with only hints of comic book absurdity. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.