Fuck yeah!

1. Here’s the thing: If you actually think The Losers is a good movie, you have terrible taste in movies. It’s a movie made by morons, for morons. Stuff happens in slow motion, things explode in visually uninteresting ways, bad special effects linger on the screen long enough for you to notice how bad they are, and then the movie doesn’t even end, instead choosing to leave the door wide open for a sequel at the expense of providing any sort of climax for the film we’re watching. One of the good guys (the one you expect from the very beginning) betrays everyone else, a morally ambiguous character decides to stick with the good guys, and things are as perfunctory as they possibly could be without one of the actors accidentally slipping into a coma on-screen.

2. The villain in The Losers (Jason Patric, a smarmy, third-rate Warren Beatty) is ridiculously evil. He shoots his minions at the slightest provocation (inspiring the age-old question of melodramatic fiction: Why would anyone work as a henchman for this malicious, sociopathic bastard? The minute my boss kills one of my coworkers for dropping the umbrella that’s shading him from the sun, I’m walking off the job immediately, awesome dental plan or no). He’s obsessed with a deadly bomb that violates several laws of physics, he has vague desires to destroy part of America in order to save America, and he likes money and drugs. The first time we meet him, he is ordering the murder of 25 Bolivian children for no reason at all. He does not at any point in the film go “Mu-hu-hu-ha-ha-ha,” but we have to save something for the sequel, don’t we?

3. The Losers is based on a comic-book series that is itself a remake of a 1970s Robert Kanigher comic book. Kanigher’s story was about a Special Forces team of soldiers in World War II. The new series is about a bunch of military badasses who fake their own deaths and go rogue after they get framed for a crime they didn’t commit. It’s basically the A-Team: You’ve got the grizzled veteran (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the pretty boy (Chris Evans), the tough guy (Idris Elba), and the girl (Zoe Saldana). There’s also the self-described “black MacGyver” pilot guy (Columbus Short), who is kind of like Howlin’ Mad Murdock with less personality. If the upcoming A-Team movie is this dumb and lacking in characterization, this could well become the Worst Summer Movie Season in Decades.

4. You cannot claim that The Losers is a shut-your-brain-off-and-have-fun movie. The Rundown is a shut-your-brain-off-and-have-fun movie. Con Air is a shut-your-brain-off-and-have-fun movie. The thing about shut-your-brain-off-and-have-fun movies is that they’re clever and inventive and self-effacing and they are propelled by sharp concepts. This is a revenge flick that never gets around to the revenge part because it’s too obsessed with looking all America-fuck-yeah.

5. Let’s talk about the acting in The Losers. Besides the sheer idiocy of Chris Evans continuing Hollywood’s two-decades-long trend of pretty actors pretending to be computer geniuses by hitting the enter key on a laptop extra-intensely, we also have the ludicrousness of Chris Evans becoming Hollywood’s go-to wiseass. The thing about being a wiseass is that you have to give off the impression of being wise. Evans smirks and says something about “the angle of the dangle” when some women catch him pantsless in an elevator, and we can almost see him mentally thanking the screenwriters for writing such gol-durned good material. But Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana both bring much more to The Losers than is necessary; Morgan is witty and gruff and a little bit sad. At times, he reminds me of a slightly more apelike George Clooney, which is a high compliment. And he and Saldana have real chemistry for the roughly seven seconds that the director manages to not fuck up a shot with them together. Someone should cast them together in something funny and sexy and smart and good—something, that is to say, un-Losers-like.

6. At the screening of The Losers I attended, I accidentally sat next to an idiot. When shit exploded because the good guys looked at it funny, he went, “WHOA!” When Óscar Jaenada, in the role of (I am not making this up) a Hispanic marksman named Cougar (don’t touch his hat—he gets really mad when you touch his hat!), pulls off some impossible sniper-rifle shot from, literally, a mile away, the idiot next to me said, to no one in particular, “Whoa! Don’t mess with that guy!” When “Don’t Stop Believin’” played on the soundtrack for what felt like the nine hundredth time, he pumped his head in time with the music and said, “All RIGHT!” He did that every other time that song played during the course of the movie, too. Of course, he did; he was an idiot. This movie was made for him. I am at least glad that I got to sit next to him during this awful, awful film because it let me see that someone on the face of the earth could actually derive some pleasure from this soulless, brainless bullshit. The idiot, at least, got a happy ending out of The Losers. recommended