If you left 'Watchmen' thinking that there should have been more of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, and if you felt 'The Wire' lost that certain something when Idris Elba's character Stringer Bell was killed, then their casting in 'The Losers' looks very enticing. Based on the Vertigo/DC comic of the same name, it's the story of a commando squad on a grudge mission.
Dispatched to Colombia to kill a drug dealer, Clay (Morgan) and his men (Elba, Evans, Short and Jaenada) find their assignment has been compromised by the proximity of a group of children to the target. They try to get the supporting air strike called off, but a mysterious voice on the walkie-talkie tells them this is not possible and to see the job through.
Racing to beat the jets, they save the children, kill the baddies and then head for their helicopter rendezvous. Trading their places on the flight back to base for the youngsters' safe passage, the soldiers savour one of those very rare good feelings that goes with the job. It lasts around five seconds and then the helicopter is hit by missiles.
Clay and his team, knowing that the reason it was shot down was because they were supposed to be onboard, throw their dog tags in the wreckage and go underground to plot their revenge.
A look at 'Die Hard' on TV recently confirmed once again that, like 'The Wild Geese' and 'The Guns of Navarone', it has aged very well. Recalling 'Predator' in the opening scenes, 'The Losers' can't hold its own beside such classics (we've seen better action and heard better one-liners) and won't keep that freshness, but it's a quick hour-and-a-half and if shoot-em-ups are your guilty pleasure you'll happily indulge.
While Morgan brings plenty of charisma and a wolfish grin to the role of Clay and the film has a great look, buy a ticket knowing that there are disappointments ahead. Most of the supporting characters are one-dimensional and Patric, who is a cool villain, is underused. Had there been more wisecracks of the quality of "What's the password?" "Let me in or I'll kill you", this could've been a cult classic. Instead it's more B than 'A-Team' - but still an effective 'Sex and the City 2' antidote.