Snatch. Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels. Oceans 11, 12 and 13. No, The Losers isn’t a crime caper—it’s about a covert special forces team that is betrayed and presumed dead and then sets out to find the person responsible for double-crossing them—but if you’ve seen those my-junk-is-bigger-than-yours flicks, you’ve pretty much seen this fun, but mostly by-the-numbers big-screen adaptation of the Vertigo comic. There are plenty of edgy-looking guns and high-tech gadgets, plenty of stylized shootouts, chases and violence and plenty of slow motion scenes featuring the team approaching the camera or dodging bullets.
And of course, there is the requisite hot chick who can kick ass. The hot chick in this instance, is Aisha, played by Zoe Saldana, an operative with her own agenda who comes out of nowhere to help Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, in an Oceans era George Clooney black suit and white shirt) and his crew of four find their enemy, known only as Max (Jason Patric). Zoe does her own stunts and looks sexy and strong even without a gun, but there is not a bit of the plot that is believable or clear: It involves something about Max trying to buy a weapon that can (laughably) dematerialize entire islands, in order to frame terrorists. We never find out if he works for the government or is acting alone, or why he messed with the team in the first place, why Aisha wants him dead or how exactly she got the mad fighting skillz. Every shootout and situation in The Losers seems to happen in a consequence-free vacuum (such as an early scene in which Aisha and Clay fight, set a hotel room on fire, then just walk away). But in a movie like this, which really only asks you to think it is cool, that may be beside the point.
Standouts in the film are Patric, who gets the best lines and plays Max as a perverse evil genius comically exasperated by his minions and Chris Evans as Jensen, the awkward, motor-mouthed man-boy of the team.
The Losers open in theaters across the nation this Friday, April 23rd.