Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Losers Film Review

I saw The Losers this weekend. I’ve wanted to see the movie since I saw the preview. I liked the preview so much that I bought the first trade paperback. I like that so much that I bought and read the rest.

I was a fan of the characters and the story before I bought a movie ticket (even if I was a Johnny-Come-Lately to the title). For those who are also fans (albeit real fans who discovered it long before I did) and are wondering if Hollywood made a film worthy of writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock’s material have nothing to worry about. Even those without any prior knowledge of the source, like the friend who went with me, it was a great film.

I didn’t realize when I greedily read all the trades that I was getting a first look at the film. The source material constitutes almost one hundred percent of the film. The reason I say ‘almost’ is because I can’t really remember all of the movie or the trade paperback. But I didn’t feel robbed getting that sneak preview of the film – it was great fun seeing all the characters that I enjoyed on the page on the big screen.

The plot of the film is the same as the comic book series. The Losers are a group who cross a mysterious figure in the CIA known as Max. When Max has the team’s extraction chopper shot down, no one knows that the team had loaded it full of children they’d rescued. The Losers throw their dog tags into the wreckage and go into hiding.

Clay is the glue that keeps the team focused and together even if they want different things. Clay is joined by Roque, the headstrong second in command who doesn’t want to go after Max. Roque just wants to go home and start a new life. Jensen, just as in the comic, provides much of the humor in the film. He’s a communications/tech guy who can hit what he aims for (most movies play that guy as good at hacking and bad at fighting and shooting) and he’s down for whatever Clay’s agenda is despite having a niece he’s close to back home. Pooch a pregnant wife who thinks he’s dead but he’s steadfast in his resolve to get Max so he can go home. Cougar is the stoic sniper who doesn’t mince words and always has his teammates’ backs. Finally, Aisha is the mysterious benefactor who has a score to settle with Max…and with Clay.

As far as Max himself goes, in the comic we don’t see much of him but there’s a lot of him in the film doing outrageous things. I think the less-is-more approach of the comic suits the character better than the film’s numerous appearances.

There’s the popular scene with Jensen who takes on a trio of guards with Cougar’s assist. He tells the guards that a government experiment has given him powers. I don’t know if that bit was an intentional nod to Chris Evan’s signing to portray Captain America but it was pretty funny.

Of course no great action film is without good interaction between characters and there’s plenty of that in The Losers. The actors have great chemistry and are fantastic in their roles.

The film, like the comic book, is a fantastic escape and will be a welcome addition to my Blu Ray shelf.
The Losers from the hit Vertigo series.

The Losers from the film.

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