The Losers (2010) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 97 minutes - $35.99 || July 20, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-07-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sylvain White
Writer(s): Andy Diggle (characters); Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt (screenplay)
Cast:


Theatrical Release Date: April 23, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scene


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Warner Brotherís The Losers, based on the DC/Vertigo comic book, is about a Special Forces squad headed by Clay (JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN) and comprised of: wiseass Jensen (CHRIS EVANS) with a specialty for... cracking jokes I presume; strongman and tough-as-nails Roque (IDRIS ELBA); weapons man and helicopter pilot Pooch (COLUMBUS SHORT); and long-range sniper Cougar (OSCAR JAENADA).

When their latest mission to light up an arms dealerís complex goes awry after the group discover children are on the compound and the airstrike would not be called off, Clay and his team are set up for a brutal attack resulting in multiple casualties including kids. They soon discover this was the plan all along by a semi-rogue CIA operative known only as Max (JASON PATRIC) on a quest to get hands on a powerful weapon and, of course, world domination via America.

On the run and living/lying low in Bolivia, Clay encounters a young woman named Aisha (ZOE SALDANA) who offers Clay and his team a chance for revenge against Max. She would finance their venture and smuggle them back into the States and as they take out Maxís crew, she would be allowed to take out Max, reasons she keeps to herself. Despite the mistrust by the crew, save for Clay, they take her up on the offer... and she does deliver getting them back into the U.S. and setting a plan in motion.

Unfortunately, she left out a few key pieces of information. After a skillfully executed mission in which they battle an army of private security with heavy arsenal and doing an aerial retrieval of an armored car which was supposed to have held Max, they instead discover he was not inside and the contents included another guard and a device that held millions of Maxís own money. After some arguing and convincing by Aisha, they set a new plan in motion much to the chagrin of Roque.

I donít know, Iíve never read the comic book The Losers is based upon so maybe this is a faithful adaptation, but I didnít have a whole lot of fun with this movie. The problem isnít with the story as I can accept the so-called twists and turns (which I could see each coming a mile away), but even the action sequences themselves are fairly mundane and have been done before in some fashion, so the originality isnít there.

It also doesnít help that Jeffrey Dean Morgan reminded me a bit too much of his Comedian character from Watchmen, another comic book/graphic novel adaptation. He does his best playing the tough team leader with a weakness for the beautiful ladies, but the script does not do him any favors. I look at JDM and think that he has the natural screen presence to carry a movie, though you need the right script to pull it off and he just didnít do it for me this time around.

The rest of the cast do OK with Chris Evans playing his typical, though toned down, wise-ass personality (I always considered Evans to be Ryan Reynolds-lite, which sometimes isnít such a bad thing) while Zoe Saldana continues her coming out party after appearances in Star Trek and Avatar. She gives a good performance as a woman with an alternative objective though the character is also easy to figure out, but at the same time, easy on the eyes with a couple great eye candy moments, especially give the PG-13 rating.

Speaking of the rating, I realize Hollywood likes to appeal to the largest audience they can, but I think it wouldíve been to the benefit of the studio to allow the director to go all out with a movie like this instead of stifling it down to a PG-13 rating and all that entails. The good news I guess is the rating does allow for some decent amount of violence and sexual content, but for a fairly unknown comic book, it wouldíve behooved them to just take out all the stops and make a Ďwam bam thank you mamí kind of flick instead of a generic action movie with nothing memorable going for it.

In the end, The Losers has a couple highlights with the cast and their banter but everything else isnít very memorable. I thought this couldíve been a fun little action movie but instead I was kind of bored by it all and really wished the filmmakers Ė and the studios Ė just went all out.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Blu-ray comes with a semi-glossy slip cover.

Zoe and the Losers (5:41; HD) featurette centers on actress Zoe Saldana and what drew her to the role which was the only female lead for the film. Various members of the cast and crew talk about her and the character while also covering some aspects of the story. This is nothing special with some of the typical sound-bites mixed in with footage from the movie as well as behind-the-scenes footage.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **

Band of Buddies: Ops Training is broken down into three separate featurettes: Walk the Ops Walk (5:41; HD), Transforming Puerto Rico (5:21; HD) and Going Deep Into Action (5:50; HD). The featurettes delve into the some of the more action aspects of the filmmaking from training the actors with the military advisors, the guns, action and also filming in Puerto Rico which takes the place of various locations around the world.

The Losers: Action-Style Storytelling (10:09; HD) goes into the actual comic book the movie is based upon with interviews with creators Andy Diggle and Jock.

A First Look at Batman: Under the Red Hood (13:46; SD) Ė Iím all for cross-promotions but not sure why this was included (and oddly enough, not on the actual Under the Red Hood Blu-ray). Anyway, itís a featurette giving a glimpse at the recently released DC Animated movie starring the voice talents of Bruce Greenwood, Neil Patrick Harris and others.

Deleted Scene (0:45; HD) Ė The scene I think was going to be after the credits (or in between) in which Chris Noth is on the phone and reveals that the other person on the line can call him Max. I guess this was going to be a set-up for a sequel, but given the filmís poor box office results, that wonít be happening anytime soon (at least theatrically).

Lastly there is a BD-Live portal and a DVD/Digital Copy Combo Disc for those who are interested.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Losers is presented in 1080p high-definition and in its original 2.40 aspect ratio. The picture does look good, although for a recent theatrical release, I thought it mightíve been a tad soft at times. Other than that, some of the detail levels, even background elements and colors Ė including skin tones Ė seemed to look pretty good overall.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is impressive to say the least. As one would expect from an action adventure like this, you get everything from a big helicopter explosion, multiple gunfire and some screaming from the characters. The low-frequency channel also gets a workout during the heavier scenes while the center speaker gets used primarily for the dialogue and other frontal action leaving the front and rear speakers for explosions and other big bang goodies. Also, John Ottmanís (Valkyrie, X2, Superman Returns amongst others) score reverberates throughout while the limited amount of music Ė U.R.A. Fever being most memorable and prominent Ė also has some depth to it.



.::OVERALL::.

The Losers could have been a fun little action flick but instead most of the action-filled scenes are kind of mundane and the story itself isnít very interesting. I guess those who are a fan of the comic book might enjoy the film for what it is, but I had hoped that instead of a toned down PG-13 flick, we couldíve instead gotten something similar to Wanted, a film that goes all-out with its sex and violence and thus provided a unique entertainment experience.