Monday Movie: The Losers by @cartoonbeardy

Well it's happened again: one year it’s nothing but asteroid films, the next CGI-ant flicks; and now it's framed ex-military team on a revenge rampage movies. You have The A Team - the Saturday tea-time favourite; The Expendables- the mental one with every action actor from the 80s; and then there’s The Losers.

Based on a comic by Andy Diggle and the ultra-talented artist “Jock”, The Losers tells the story of an elite black-ops team, led by grizzled-leader-with-a-conscience Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who are double-crossed by insidious company man Max (Jason Patric). Believed dead, the team go into hiding in South America, yet long for payback, which appears in the form of Zoe Saldana’s Aisha, a woman with her own agenda and connection to Max.

What follows is a highly-enjoyable action caper full of Mission: Impossible-style super-spy antics, shot through with a heavy dose of stunts, gun action and twists and turns that rarely let up for more than a minute.  The cast is impressive, featuring especially-enjoyable turns from Chris Evans as the gadget geek of the group and the glowering presence of Idris Elba as Roque, the team heavy.  The cast compliment a knowing, but whip-sharp script by Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt.

The action and direction both skirt close to cheese, but the pace and stylised cinematography pull you along for the ride. The story will hold little in the way of surprises, but with a cast and crew clearly having so much fun, it's hard to hold that as a negative.

If there is a flaw, it is that the main villain is comparatively weak. Max chews the scenery so hard even the celluloid has teeth marks. Patric seems unsure how to play him; one minute being a ice-cool CIA spook, the next coming across as one step shy of a used-car salesman.

It's a film that demands little from its audience, but rattles along with a brash. ballsy attitude that is hard to dislike. The prospect of another round with The Losers is not an unwelcome one.

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