The Losers

Judge Dredd Megazine (Rebellion Magazine)

The Losers is based on the Vertigo comic book by Andy Diggle and Mark Simpson (better known as “Jock”), and effectively pre-empts the upcoming A-Team. A group of Special Forces Ops are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, presumed dead, then spend the film striving to clear their names and toast the CIA psycho (Jason Patric) who set them up. They’re led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen‘s Comedian) who’s torridly attracted to mysterious stranger Zoe Saldana, back out of her Na’Vi war-paint. However, the film is easily stolen by Chris Evans as the team’s handsome geek, who gets whole sequences of lightfooted espionage to himself.

It’s well-staged and breezy, with security vans being heisted aloft by helicopters, and fights in burning or bullet-ridden rooms, but the tone is superficial. The title pays off early – the heroes do indeed lose at the beginning, with collateral damage we don’t normally see in this kind of film. But that’s the one rug-pull; from then on, payback is fun and death is funny. The team (which also includes Idris Elba, Columbus Short and Oscar Jaenda) seems broadly likable, but not enough to make you care when one of them sells out. Nor does it make you forgive the unresolved ending, setting up yet another would-be franchise.

(c) 2018 Rebellion A/S. Reprinted with permission.