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Blu-ray Review: The Losers

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The Losers is the latest DC comic adaptation to hit the big screen. Inspired by the 2004 Vertigo comic book series by writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock, The Losers is a five-man special forces unit who each have their own talents.  The team, led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is comprised of Roque (Idris Elba) the demolitions expert; the team sniper, Cougar (Oscar Jaenada); Pooch (Columbus Short), who has a knack for “acquiring” transportation; and Jensen, the technology expert (Chris Evans).

While the men have no compunctions about killing men, they draw the line at killing children. Because there are children present, they change the outcome of a search and destroy mission which angers their CIA handler, Max (Jason Patric). The men think the children are safe when they put them on the helicopter intended for them. But Max orders the helicopter destroyed, thinking they are on board; after it’s learned that there were children on board he blames the team for it (who are also believed to be dead) and disavows any knowledge of the men.

The group is very angry that Max ordered their deaths and that innocent children paid the price. Now they vow to find out who Max is and get their revenge. Since they are “dead” they have the element of surprise, but they can’t get back into the United States. Enter Aisha (Zoe Saldana), a mysterious woman who can bankroll this mission and get them home, but also has ulterior motives for working with them.

 The movie is a fun action flick — I’m sure it will be compared to The A-Team — but it’s a different animal entirely. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is great as the leader of the group who wants his name cleared and revenge on the man who set his team up; it’s also his second comic book film. The interaction between Zoe Saldana’s Aisha and Morgan’s Clay is great; the two have this great sexual chemistry onscreen and are highly credible together. And Chris Evans is very funny as Jensen and to say more would ruin parts of the film, but these three are the highlight of the film. (Evans has to be a comic fan — this is his second comic-based film and he’ll be seen in his third, Scott Pilgrim, later this summer. He’ll also be performing in this genre for the foreseeable future as he will be starring as Captain America in next summer’s Captain America and its sequels as well as reprising that role for The Avengers movie and its possible sequels.)

Video: The Losers is presented in 1080p widescreen; the movie looks excellent. The colors really stand out, especially the green lushness of the jungle at the beginning of the film, the reds and oranges of the explosions throughout, and more. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

Audio: The film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is very good; it never overpowers the dialogue, nor interferes with it. The surround sound lets you hear each gunshot, explosion, and the crackle of the flames. You can understand each actor’s lines, and can distinguish each of them.

The Losers has a few extras, however it’s lacking a commentary which would have been nice. There is a deleted scene — that’s right, not “scenes” — and it runs 42 seconds, and could be tagged as an alternate ending.

The featurette “Zoe and The Losers” has actress Zoe Saldana talking about her role in the film, and then features the cast and crew also talking about her performance.

“Action Style Storytelling” has artist Jock and writer Andy Diggle talking about the comic book, who their influences were growing up, what the inspiration for the series was, as well as their thoughts on the film.

There are also three behind the scenes featurettes grouped under the “Band of Buddies: Ops Training” banner. First up is “Walk the Ops Walk” which has technical advisors and the cast discussing the need for authenticity as well as the actors talking about all the guns they get to play with during the shoot. Next “Transforming Puerto Rico” looks at what the production design team had to do in order to make the island look like several different world-wide locales. Wrapping things up is “Going Deep Into the Action” which looks at director Sylvain White’s style.

There’s also an advanced sneak peek at the next animated feature, Batman: Under the Red Hood, which looks great and should be a great adaptation of the source material.

The Losers are anything but. It’s a fun shoot ’em up film that accomplishes its goals and leaves the door open for a sequel. The film is at the very least worth a rental.

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