Little Bleeder “Jason” reports from a showing of Losers, the new Warner Bros movie based on Andy Diggle and Jock’s reinvention of the Losers trademark for DC Comics into one of a number of ad-hoc ex-military action ensemble movies of the summer. He writes;
First of all, while I got my pass through my local comic shop, a lot of people seeme to have gotten tickets from other sources. The girls I was sitting next to got theirs because one of them fell at a club or something.
I hadn’t read the Losers in advance I did pick up the first trade afterwards though, and apparently I wasn’t the only one if the bookstore I went to was an indication.
With The A-Team and I guess the Irreplacables coming out there seems to be several rogue crack ops teams coming out, so I’m glad this one is coming out early enough so as not to be lost in the mix.
There are reflections of its comic book origins mostly around the credits. Each of the Losers gets introduced with a caption and a drawn representation of the actor. We also get captions of each location in a way reminiscent of the way Heroes used to show the episode titles. Then it kind of disappears.
The story is for the most part lifted from the first comic arc. However the movie starts with the mission that they got set up for. I have not read the later books so I don’t know if it’s ever fleshed out in detail, but essentially it establishes the Losers as badasses with good heart, and Max as a total villain. Killing a bunch of kids level bad.
They removed a lot of the anti CIA stuff to an extent and have Max more as a rogue element in the government who is operating under the notion War is good and the US will be able to take advantage of the chaos to get a stranglehold on the world. Think Dick Cheney as a Bond villain if that isn’t already redundant.
One major change from the book is that we spend a lot of time with Max, who is played really well by Jason Patric. To say he’s an utter dick is an understatement. Racist sexist and utterly sociopathic. Though apparently environmentally conscious. His plan is to release weapons of mass destruction to various factions so he can take advantage of the situation. The weapons are called Snukes sonic nukes. The go off they destroy matter like a ultra sound on a kidney stone. the doctor would not be pleased. It’s a bit science fictiony for the movie, but I’m guessing it’s a budget issue easier to CGI an island breking into little blocks then to do a realistic explosion big enough to destroy a small island.
The other is Aisha.
Because of a twist that is not in the book, as far as I know, I’m separating it out here. Aisha is the daughter of the drug kingpin that the Losers were sent to kill in Bolivia, who is not too happy when she finds out that Clay actually did the deed in person as opposed to how she thought he was killed. She and Clay have an understanding, they’ll work together to take out Max but after they kill him they’ll have it out because Clay was the one that pulled the trigger. (Maybe she learns this in a later issue I don’t know.) in any case there is a definite shift to her character from what I read.
Roque’s betrayal is still there but it’s a slow build up, and with a little more emotional heft to it. Instead of coming across as a straight mercenary, he’s just trying to get his life back.
Two of the action set pieces are taken directly from the comic and they are really well done. The opening scene isn’t and in retrospect you can tell, the director tries for a freeze frame effect everytime a bad guy gets shot, which never appears again in the movie, which is weird. Either keep using it or get rid of it all together
I think it’s a good movie. Yes they cut out most of the anti CIA and conspiracy stuff, but that’s okay. If you want to sit in a theatre for 90 minutes and be entertained this will do the job.
The audience seemed to enjoy it. They laughed when they were supposed to, had their oh shit moments when they were supposed to and from what I could tell enjoyed it. Even the girls who probably never would have come if they had known it was a movie based on a comic book.
Chris Evans made me both less and more worried about Captain America. I think he can pull it off, but he’s so geared toward the comedic side of things in Losers I had a brief disconnect where I thought to myself I’m watching Captain America singing Journey. He did show me more than what I’ve seen from him, so I think he’s a decent choice.