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Losers, The (AF)

4/10

Stars: Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada, Jason Patric, Holt McCallany, Peter Macdissi, Peter Francis James

Director: Sylvain White

Action, not cerebral strain, is what motivates this Joel Silver-produced puree of explosions, shootouts, bombings, crashing helicopters and assorted mayhem that has beaten The A Team into cinemas with much the same outcasts-versus-the Bad Guys formula propelling the story.

Here Our Heroes Ė Morgan, Evans, Elba, Short and Jaenada Ė are members of an elite Special Forces unit sent to Darkest Bolivia on a search and destroy mission only to be betrayed by a double-crossing enemy, played by Patric - with commendable panache under the circumstances. Presumed dead, the Dirty Five, assisted by lovely but lethal Saldana who has a motive of her own, they return to the USA and seek violent vengeance against Patric. The characters are cut from standard patterns and the actors play them accordingly and itís good to see Saldana as herself and not the blue alien from Avatar.

Screenwriters Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt spice the revenge stew with Patricís plan for world chaos. The energetic if easily forgettable show, based on the series of comic books by Andy Diggle, is about as subtle as a hippo in a telephone booth but if itís adrenaline-sparking action you want, it delivers well enough, and you never need to take your brain out of neutral. But you canít help wondering why the villainsí bullets, as ever, never manage to hit their mark. Perhaps a sequel is threatenedÖ

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Optimum. Technicolor.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 28 May 2010