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The Losers

Cartoony and quick-paced, The Losers is for teens, but in the right mood, grownups might enjoy it too.

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When a DVD begins with trailers for videogames and cartoons, the casual adult viewer can be sure of one thing: This movie is not intended for them.

The Losers is such a film, though this adult wasn’t completely bored throughout the movie’s 98 minutes.

It begins in Bolivia, where a handful of elite military men are targeting some evil, rich Pablo Escobar-type crime lord. With missiles locked and jets scrambling, the group’s bossman, Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), notices the compound is filled with children and attempts to call off the strike. No dice, says some malevolent voice at HQ.

Clay and crew — Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar — take matters into their own hands, save the kids and find themselves as fugitives on the lamb. The rest of the movie zips around the world, tracking the men in their campaign of vengeance, retribution and good, old-fashioned ass-kicking. They save kids, and this is what they get?! A reckoning is on its way.

Also — as this movie is for the barely post-pubescent set — the foxy Aisha (Zoe Saldana) tags along as the mysterious instigator for Clay.

Based on a DC Comics/Vertigo graphic novel, The Losers is cartoonish and quick-paced. One-liners fly as fast as bullets and fists, and the movie ends as frantically as it began. Though definitely not dull, The Losers isn’t exactly engaging either. Like every G.I. Joe episode, the good guys’ aim is always true, and the bad guys shoot like morons. Blind ones.

Except one bad guy — the bad guy — is kind of awesome. His name’s Max and he was the one who screwed our guys. With classic villianisms, Max makes us laugh and wince. He’s a funny Dr. No, an earnest Dr. Evil.

Which brings us to the movie’s saving grace: It’s everything but serious. Yes, it’s violent, but comically so. There’s some make-out scenes, but nothing too risqué. Let the teenagers eat it up. The adults in the room might enjoy it, too. (Rated PG-13)

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