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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this often funny action movie -- based on a comic book series from 2003-06 -- is filled with comic book-style violence, with lots of guns, knives, slo-mo fight scenes, and explosions. The movie centers on a group of ex-soldiers who are betrayed and left for dead; part of their motivation is problem-solving and part is revenge. The movie features strong, but infrequent language (one use of "f--k" and several uses of "s--t"), and a non-explicit, though highly stylized sexual scene. Without any huge teen-appeal stars (aside from Avatar's Zoe Saldana), the movie will mostly appeal to die-hard comic book fans and action junkies.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After a routine mission goes terribly wrong, a five-man CIA special ops team, led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is left for dead in Bolivia. Worse, they have discovered that the mysterious, evil "Max" was in charge. Stranded and out of options, they choose to trust newcomer Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who promises to return them to the United States in exchange for the death of Max. The downside is that Max is very highly protected and virtually unkillable. Worse, hardly anything is as it seems, no one can be trusted, and THE LOSERS must rely on their heaviest firepower just to survive. Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Oscar Jaenada make up the rest of the team.
Is it any good?
The Losers has the brisk, breezy energy of a good "B" movie; the pace never lags, and the action -- with the help of lots of tongue-in-cheek slow-motion footage -- looks terrific. The cast is immensely likeable, and they all seem to click with one another, forming a tight-knit group whose camaraderie is infectious. It helps that the movie kicks off with the group charging into a danger zone to rescue 25 innocent kids.
Jason Patric turns in an interesting, offbeat performance as "Max," the elusive and powerful villain, relishing his terrible acts and looking forward to a world wiped clean by war weapons. To be sure, the violence in the movie is strong, and maintains a sexy undercurrent -- but it all remains securely in the comic-book realm, making it a fun, if edgy choice for teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in this movie. Was it disturbing or thrilling? What factors contribute to making violent scenes more or less intense? Were there any scenes that upset you? Why or why not?
The movie contains some stereotypical images of women as "arm candy," or playthings for male characters. Why do you think the filmmakers included this element? Do you think male and female viewers will react differently to these scenes?
How important is teamwork to the group's success? What are the challenges and rewards of teamwork in your own life?
- In theaters: April 23, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: July 20, 2010
- Cast: Chris Evans, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana
- Director: Sylvain White
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of intense action and violence, a scene of sensuality and language