Posted by: Dr P | June 9, 2010

The Losers

A bit like last year’s Tropic Thunder, this is one of those films which just pops up on the radar at the last minute and turns out to be unexpectedly good. So good in fact I’ve seen it twice. Actually, the second time was because Big G insisted he wanted to see it and I was too tired to argue. But that’s not to say I *wouldn’t* have seen it the second time anyway, it’s just that … well, I’ve been twice, so here’s the review.

Our heroes are a crack special forces unit who are unwittingly drawn into a power struggle by the mysterious “Max”, a CIA operative with a secret agenda. Having taken part in the rescue of some innocent kids from a drugs outpost in Bolivia – only to see said children blown up in the helicopter they were supposed to be ‘evaccing’ in – our guys turn from highly respected officers and agents into fugitives, believed dead. If it’s sounding a bit like the A Team, the similarities don’t end there. In the opening scene, the unit manage to attack the drug fortress guarded by dozens of highly-armed guards (escaping without a scratch) and commandeer a school bus, which they then somehow drive at breakneck pace through the jungle pursued by a fiery bomb blast, over a cliff, down a hill etc etc. Marvellous!

Anyway rewind. The group is led by Clay (the excellent Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and consists of tech and comms expert (and comedy relief) Jensen, vehicles man Pooch, the somewhat vicious Roque and sniper Cougar. Each has a vital part to play in the team, and the banter and interplay within the group is very believable and well presented.

Now stranded and believed dead, the team spend their time trying to work out the best way to get back Stateside and get revenge on the elusive Max. Basically this appears to consist of drinking, womanising and partaking in local cock fights. Behave. An apparent escape route is provided by the sultry Aisha (the gorgeous Zoe Saldana), who introduces herself to Clay by inviting herself back to his hotel room and then proceeds to trash it and set it on fire while engaging in a quite brutal bout of fisticuffs. We’ve all been there, right?

Anyway, the initial misunderstanding over, it transpires that Aisha has her own (hidden) motives for seeking out Max, the man she believes responsible for her father’s murder. Max, meanwhile, is in Dubai (and later Puerto Rico and a whole host of exotic locales) and engaged in the acquisition of a number of “Snook” environmental weapons, incredible devices which can make whole islands disappear without a trace! Perhaps that’s what happened to Atlantis?

The team resurface in the US and perform an audacious kidnap attempt on Max, seizing his armoured vehicle from a heavily armed convoy. This is once again very A Team in nature, involving an enormous magnet swung from a stolen helicopter! Lovely. Of course Max is nowhere in sight, the convoy instead carrying a mysterious computer drive which leads them down a whole different road …

Without going into more of the plot, suffice it to say that various people become involved in double crosses, Aisha goes postal, there’s a simmering romance, and a quite brilliant scene where Jensen breaks into a computer centre and shoots two guards “with the power of his mind”. Awesome. The movie’s filled with excellent humour, and despite some quite graphic deaths and OTT violence, it’s pretty comic book in nature. As indeed it should be, being based on one 🙂

The ending also leaves the way open for a sequel, yet remains quite satisfying in some of the payoffs. Overall, a cracking “boys film”, with gadgets, action, a hot leading lady and plenty of laughs. If the forthcoming A Team movie is as good as this, it’ll be well worth a view.

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