The Losers - Cinema Review

'suffers from not having enough genuinely funny moments to call itself the action comedy it desperately wants to be'

Hollywood is in love with comic books. It's a well known fact. And with major properties like Batman and Spider-Man drawing in large grosses and even smaller ones like Iron Man easily rivaling the big boys, it's easy to see why the studios are infatuated. But even by the industry's skewed standards, The Losers is scraping the barrel.

In a run that lasted less than three years and only thirty-two issues, the comic books by Andy Diggle established a small, loyal fanbase and won limited praise from the industry awards. Which, in all likelihood, looks like more than the film will do, arriving in the UK after a pretty poor showing in the US and on an opening weekend which pits it against Sex And The City 2 and Prince Of Persia.

That's not to say though that director Sylvain White hasn't tried to craft something worthy of acclaim out of the source material. The production values here are high and some stylish editing and cinematography, which successfully crams the entire gang onto the same screen at every possible moment and sets the frame rate in time to whatever music happens to be playing, is both noticeable and welcome.

The cast too are likable, attractive and generally well-suited to the jokey-action shtick they're compelled to produce. Jeffery Dean Morgan is sharp and charming as the group's leader and although I never bought in to his conflict with second-in-command Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana provides a viable alternative to argue against. Columbus Short and Óscar Jaenada do little but facilitate everyone else and the main laughs are left to Chris Evans who excels in an office break-in scene.

That scene though was the only time I found myself laughing out loud and the movie as a whole suffers from not having enough genuinely funny moments to call itself the action comedy it desperately wants to be. One-liners don't fire and opportunities are missed (a character moaning about being shot in both legs could have been so much funnier) and the most that every scene other than the Evans' break-in scene raised was a wry smile.

Come the conclusion, White backs The Losers in to a bit of a corner and is faced with a difficult decision; wrap everything up into a neat bundle and extend the film with a ten minute coda or leave it a little bit open with one eye on the sequel. Neither would be entirely satisfactory and on balance, White probably picks the weaker option summing up a film that, whilst fun and more than its constituent parts, is really a rather flaky and distinctly minor comic book adaptation.

Look further...

'A predictable comic book adaptation that is fun, cool but ultimately a little bit disappointing' - F'n TV, 3 and 1/2 out of 5


  1. I read the first two volumes of the five-volume graphic novel series before seeing this film, and I must say I was a tad surprised at how the tone of them was left by the wayside.

    That said, I thought at the very least that the movie would try to encapsulate the entire series into one film - not leave it open for a sequel.

    That "To Be Continued" sort of ending really left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Like you noted from my review though...this was my kind of crap!

  2. I've not read the comics, kind of wish I had before seeing it - the artwork certainly looked great.

    I agree completely with you on the ending. If you look back at a previous article on Y: THE LAST MAN, there was a bit of a discussion in the comments there about the fact that very few series start knowing for certain that they'll get a sequel. I would say this one almost certainly didn't & (after box office showing) won't, therefore really making the ending exceptionally limp.

    Having said that, and this is what I alluded to in the review, I really didn't want it to go on for another 10, 20 or even 30 minutes. White & screenwriters backed themselves into a bit of a corner in my opinion.

  3. So very glad I didn't see it.

  4. It is worth a rental Simon, just don't expect it to blow your mind.

  5. Minor comic book adaptation indeed. While I haven't actually read the comic book, I do think it's a minor movie. Zing!

  6. I enjoyed it for it ease-of-watching and general 'turn your brain off' as described by Mad Hatter. Certainly not going to be breaking box office records anywhere though.

  7. I was disappointed in this. I like the style of what it is trying to be but it just didn't pul it off.
    It felt like it was trying to cover too mnay bases and managed to cover none!
    A guilty pleasure I think for me!!

  8. Yeah, I can see your point. I certainly didn't think it was as good as it could have been. They obviously wanted to make a PG-13 action film but if you're going to that then I think it needs more humour to fill the gaps where the violence would be. They failed on that front and therefore gave it a slightly unfinished feel.