I have a serious problem. I keep gravitating towards films starring Idris Elba: indie, blockbuster, praiseworthy, flop, it doesn’t matter: I will watch them all! (I almost unwittingly made an Ash Ketchum reference and commented on how it’s not Poké balls I’m interested in, but never fear, I’ll keep it PG13.)
Houston, there are not enough hours in the week for my problem.
Also, spoilers ahead.
This week’s culprit is The Losers. An aptly named film about a CIA team consisting of Roque (played by Idris Elba), and his four compatriots who, after a mission gone horribly wrong, are stranded in Bolivia without identities, and very few resources. Understandably Roque is frustrated. As a leader Clay (Jeffrey Dean Moran, or Javier Bardem, who knows) is not pulling his weight. While Roque simply wants to get back home, Clay is intent on fighting the evil mastermind who has landed them in this mess, and foiling said mastermind’s evil plans. I mean, his goals are just unrealistic. Sometimes a guy just doesn’t wanna save the world, y’know? Sometimes a guy just wants to get home and eat the junk food he’s used to.
Fortunately for the men a resourceful and wily Aisha (Zoe Saldana) appears and it looks as if they might have an escape route. Though Roque does display some doubts, due to Clay being led astray by women in the past, he eventually agrees to along with the plan.
His instincts turn out to be right, though, when Miss Resourceful’s plan falls through, and she doesn’t deliver what she promised. As you might expect, Roque blows his top, and really, I mean, can anyone blame the guy?
So, then after everyone realizes they should’ve listened to Roque from the start they concoct a new plan. Under the wonderful leadership of Clay (who apparently is swayed more by his gonads than anything else) they continue to act on information Aisha gives them.
Anyway, Roque turns out to be right yet again in his doubts, because it’s revealed that Aisha has only been in on the whole thing as a way of getting revenge on Clay for killing her father; you know #justgirlythings.
At this point my eyes were rolling so hard in my head that it was starting to look like the 60s in there. These guys get hoodwinked twice by the same person. (Also, what’s up with that romance angle, anyway? Aisha is way too young for Clay. He should be her uncle or something.)
But it turns out Roque is smarter than the others because he secretly formed an agreement with Max AKA Evil Mastermind, so that this time his plans to return home wouldn’t be left in the useless, incompetent hands of Clay. I know, very cleverly done; I didn’t see it coming at all and had to admire his discretion.
So things start looking up for Roque, because it really feels like all he’s ever wanted is at his fingertips, and he can finally ditch his loser friends. But then in one of the worst and unexpected tragedies, Roque is suddenly wiped out in a fiery death. It’s sort of out of the blue.
After that, the movie really flags. It’s just about Roque’s loser friends completing the mission, defeating the bad guy, and going home to their families.
For the most part, it’s a pretty good film. Elba’s in about 80% of it, and while the other 20% just seems to have a gaping hole, you can pretty much replay the Elba bits in your head so it isn’t too unbearable.
2 out of 5 stars.
Pro tip: could have had more Elba in it.
Honourable mention goes to Chris Evans singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the elevator.