Sometime in the past, a group of elite military commandos is framed for a horrific crime they did not commit. Left for dead by the very same government they fought for, these five single-monikered mercenaries vow revenge against the men who set them up. Sounds a bit like the 80s television series, "The A-team."
Unfortunately, while the premise, characters and plot are all remarkably similar, "The Losers" has little else in common with the pop culture classic series that introduced America to Mr. T, and still frequently adorns lunchboxes and t-shirts over 25 years later. No, the movie I saw wasn't the A-team. It wasn't even the B-team. The movie I had the misfortune of watching was definitely the F-team.
Based on a comic book, loosely based on an earlier comic book, "The Losers" stars Jeffrey Morgan Dean ("The Watchmen"), Zoe Saldana ("Avatar"), Idris Alba, Chris Evans and even the elusive Jason Patric as the 007- style super villain, Max.
"The Losers" is a film that is confusing and confounded throughout. While it is packed with violence, it is free of almost any blood, and along with that, any sense of realism.
No doubt this was intentionally done in order to achieve the PG-13 rating and appeal to the largest target audience for ticket sales and merchandising. However, this super clean, non-offensive ultra-violence only serves to enhance the lack of believability already rampant throughout this film.
It appears as if the actors themselves may have also been confused, either by the nonsensical script or perhaps the uninspired directing of Sylvain White. Generally a talented group, the cast somehow manages to deliver entirely unbelievable performances. At many times the borderline sociopathic characters seem content to deliver dialogue void of any emotion. Ironically, the rare bright spots (and they were very rare) were delivered by Chris Evans (Fantastic Four).
Apparently the rest of North America had the foresight to skip "The Losers" and stay home entirely. According to Boxoffice magazine, "The Losers" ended the weekend with dismal gross-total ticket sales of around $9.2 million, and help to cap off the lowest grossing box-office weekend of 2010.
As I entered the theater on Saturday afternoon I had high hopes for "The Losers." However, as I left two painfully long hours later, I realized that the A-team is still the only disenchanted, freedom-fighting, elite-military commando unit truly worth their salt in my books.