The original Losers had a great run in the 70's, going through 1978, and being revisited in 1981-1985. In 1974, the famous Jack Kirby (best known for his work on Marvel comics like Iron Man and X-Men), contributed to the artwork and storyline. After the special 1985 issue came out, The Losers went on a kind of hiatus--mostly because they were all KILLED in the 1985 issue, including Gunner's pet dog, Pooch. However, in the 1990's, Gunner was resurrected as a cyborg warrior in Creature Commandos, a revival of a comic series started in 1980. But you can't keep a good man down, or a dead Loser--Gunner and Clay returned (again) for several issues of Birds of Prey.
So where did the cast of characters from the latest comic film adaptation come from then??? DC Vertigo reprised The Losers in 2004 with British writer, Andy Diggle and Brit-artist, Jock (Mark Simpson). Both Andy and Jock have worked on other storylines together for DC including Green Arrow and Hellblazer. But Peter Berg, who you know from Entourage, wrote the screenplay for The Losers starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who you know from his role as the Comedian in Watchmen, as well as a recurring role as the father to my favorite heroes (and yours), the Winchester boys from Supernatural.
Chris Evans, who you know as the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four film franchise, will be starring in another comic book flick in 2011 as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger. The actor is not only cute, funny and not a smidge older than 29, he's also from the Boston-area, my hometown!!! Believe it or not, Evans will play Handy Smurf the following year in an adaptation of The Smurfs. I'm not sure who Evans's agent is, but I'd fire him or her for that recommendation. Stick with superheroes, Chris!
The sexy British actor, Idrissa Akuna Elba or "Idris," plays Roque in Losers--you know him from films like American Gangster and Obsessed (playing opposite Beyonce...lucky man)--he'll also be in an upcoming 2012 superhero flick, Thor.
Oscar Jaenada (who plays a *sweet* Cougar), Zoe Saldana (from Star Trek and Avatar, playing a kick-ass female hero, Aisha), Columbus Short (funny AND cute--you gotta love Pooch), and Jason Patric (playing the sociopathic Max), nicely round out the Loser cast of characters.
The love story sub-plot between Aisha and Clay is visually ridiculous. There. I said it. Zoe Saldana is not only hot WAY beyond Morgan, she's also a tender 31 (32 in June), while Jeffrey Dean Morgan is sporting 45...and a 45 that has obviously never used facial sunblock, if you catch my drift. Ouch. Love you, Jeffrey--you rock as the dad of my favorite Supernatural sons, but really, dude....
That detail aside, there were a lot of slow moments in the film directed by Sylvain White--who was born the same year I was. He attended La Sorbonne in France for law, later earning Honors along with his degree in Media Studies from Pomona in California. A relative directorial newcomer, you know Sylvain White from his 2007 flick Stomp the Yard. But those slow moments in Losers weren't slow because of White--his cinematic directions were SPOT ON for an action-flick of this magnitude. Nope, when you see slow spots...blame the writers.
Peter Berg wasn't alone in penning the screenplay. James Vanderbilt (that's right, of THE Vanderbilt's) helped along with Andy Diggle, the writer of the 2004 Vertigo version of The Losers. Vanderbilt and Berg worked together on 2003's The Rundown starring The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson (love you, Dwayne!!!). And while Diggle's touches in keeping the dialogue and characters true to their fictional selves is fairly obvious, it doesn't hasten the pace of the film. Though we love Berg's Hulu commercial with Alec Baldwin, Berg's writing style reads too much like an extended television show on the silver screen...hence the slow moments. Vanderbilt sadly has no big action films to his credit as a screenwriter to have changed Berg's predominant style, though there is talk about Vanderbilt's involvement in the next Spider-Man film of 2012.
There's good action and some good chemistry on screen between The Losers cast but there are few surprises in this predictable, slow storyline. You know I'm a TOTAL comic book geek so went to see Losers as soon as humanly possible, excited to see Diggle and Jock's Vertigo storylines come to life. HOWEVER, I'm sorry to say that my chagrin outweighed my excitement by the end of the film. This movie gets a 6.5 out of 10 on the Housel-scale. IMHO, not worth the big-screen ticket price...though The Losers find themselves winners at the box office as #4 this opening weekend, having earned more than $3-million their opening day.
Once again, Warner Bros., I'm waiting for my writing close up...next on the Housel hit-list, Kick-Ass!