The Losers: The B-Team

loser300THE LOSERS (12A): On General Release, Friday 28th May

It’s a standard trope that in any team, the characters will be divided up into their specialities, whether it’s heavy weapons, hacking, negotiation or plan making/cigar smoking. It’s just as true for the A-Team as it is for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Thundercats.

The Losers is no exception as Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) leads a crack black ops team in an undercover mission in Bolivia. He’s accompanied by demolitions expert Roque (The Wire’s own Idris Elba), techy smart mouth Jensen (Chris Evans), behatted but silent ladies man and sniper Cougar (Oscar Janeda) and wise-cracking driver Pooch (Columbus Short).

As they’re killing drug lords and rescuing a village-worth’s of children (as you do), they narrowly escape being blown up in a rigged helicopter and realise that their boss Max wanted to take them out of the picture. Now off the radar and skulking around in downtown Bolivia, they run into the sultry Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who tells them she has a way for them to get their revenge and stop Max from taking over the world (as you do), but is there more to her than meets the eye?

It’s based upon the graphic novel published by Vertigo and as such is suitably over the top in all the right places; cars explode, people get shot from impossible angles and the crew manage to take out veritable armies on their own. There are some impressive set pieces including one where a Ducati motorcycle takes out a helicopter; Arnold Schwarzenegger never had it so good. It’s certainly not something that’s going to leave you ruminating about the fragility of life, but it is really good fun.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clay provides a likable lead (a less anarchic version of The Comedian that he played in Watchmen) and the inevitable love interest in Zoe Saldana is believable if nothing to write home about.

Keeping with the light theme, Chris Evans gets his fair share of wisecracks as tech-expert Jensen who uses the team satellite system to keep an eye on how his niece is doing in the soccer playoffs, but it’s Columbus Short as Pooch who steals the show with the most laughs. Jason Patric is also nicely cast as Max, cuttingly sarcastic and wonderfully hammy (what else could you want from a super villain?)

But while there’s little originality in script or premise (it plays out very much like any A-Team spinoff would do), in execution it remains a fast-paced, action packed and above all fun spectacle. If you want a throwaway popcorn movie that you don’t have to think much about, then The Losers is the best of the bunch at the moment but expect it to be completely forgotten by next year.