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The Chris Evans Action Movie That's Taking Over The Netflix Top 10

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

It's always fun when a movie that wasn't a box office success becomes a cult hit on Netflix. The latest one to do it is "The Losers," which made slightly more than its budget when it was released in theaters and is currently the No. 1 movie on Netflix's daily Top 10 chart in America and the subject of tweets like, "'The Losers' is now on @netflix, and it will be playing nonstop on all my TVs, sorry not sorry."

This high-energy 2010 action film is directed by Sylvain White and based on a Vertigo comic series of the same name by writer Andy Diggle and illustrator Mark "Jock" Simpson. It tells the story of the titular elite Special Forces strike team whose members are betrayed by their commanding officer, Max (Jason Patric), and left for dead in the Bolivian jungle with no way to get home. They team up with the mysterious Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who offers them assistance in getting back to America if they help her kill Max. It's not that easy, of course, and there are double-crosses, eco-friendly bombs "for the 21st century green terrorist," big 'splosions, and Chris Evans singing "Don't Stop Believin'" and making goons think he's shooting them with telekinetic bullets from his fingers.

As for the actors who play the Losers, we've got Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clay, the leader, and Idris Elba as "demo and tactical" specialist Roque. Then there's Evans as wisecracking computer expert Jensen. Plus, Óscar Jaenada plays Cougar, the sniper, and Columbus Short stars as "transpo and heavy weps" guy Pooch. For those keeping count, that's three Marvel stars before they were Marvel stars, plus one "Walking Dead" baddie. It's a tremendously fun movie with thrilling action and a great sense of humor, and here are some things you might not know about "The Losers."

Comic vs. film

"The Losers" is a pretty faithful adaptation of Diggle and Jock's comic series. It's based on the first two volumes of the comic, "Ante Up" and "Double Down," and many of the scenes and shots are straight from the source material. According to Comic Book Movie, the scene where the Losers steal a chopper is almost a shot-for-shot adaptation of how it goes down in the book. And the character designs and sense of humor are straight from the comics too.

Interestingly, the biggest changes in the film are to the character Max. The comics are more political than the movie, and Max is a CIA operative who does all kinds of terrible stuff in the interest of "national security," which is a pointed critique of the agency. In the film, he's a rogue agent simply after money and power. Also, it's revealed in the comics — spoiler alert — that Max is actually a pair of identical twins. It seems like he can be in two places at once, and it turns out he really can be.

And as you might've guessed, the comic is also more violent and has more swear words than the PG-13 movie. However, there's one change that's small but hugely significant. In the comics' version of the "Don't Stop Believin'" scene, Jensen sings an obscure Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song called "The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane." The movie changes it to Journey's iconic power ballad, also heard in the final scene of "The Sopranos," which is a much funnier choice.

Welcome to Puerto Rico

"The Losers" is set all over the world –- it starts in Bolivia and ends up in Los Angeles -– but it was mostly filmed in Puerto Rico. The island stood in for a number of far-flung locales, from Mumbai to Dubai to New Mexico.

"It was staggering what we found when we came to Puerto Rico to scout," producer Kerry Foster said in the film's production notes (via Slashfilm). "There is a city, obviously gorgeous beaches, a close approximation of a desert, and a rainforest that was ideal to double for Bolivia. It's a beautiful island and the people could not have been more wonderful."

Puerto Rico wasn't paradise for everyone in the cast though. "I'm not built for the heat," Chris Evans told the New York Daily News. "I'm Irish-Italian from Boston. I sweat, I burn. In Puerto Rico, you're looking at 100 degrees with 100% humidity in Army fatigues .... It was not an easy experience for me. Everyone else was loving it."

What drew Chris Evans to The Losers?

Chris Evans made "The Losers" after the "Fantastic Four" movies — where he played Johnny Storm/Human Torch — but before he became Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And along with "Snowpiercer" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," it's one of three non-Marvel live-action comic book adaptations that Evans has made so far. Plus, "The Losers" clearly proved that the actor had the charisma to become one of the world's biggest stars.

As some critics have pointed out, Evan's performance in "The Losers" demonstrated that he understood how to execute the tone of comic book humor and could give fantastic performances both individually and as a member of a larger team, which would serve him well as Steve Rogers. But for his part, Evans wasn't drawn to "The Losers" because it was a comic book adaptation but because it reminded him of funny action movies he loved growing up. We're talking films like "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon," which — like "The Losers" — were produced by Joel Silver. 

"They had action, but ... the character chemistry just was fantastic, and it left room for jokes and laughs and it didn't take itself too seriously," Evans told Collider. That describes "The Losers" perfectly, as anyone who's seen the aforementioned "Don't Stop Believin'" sequence can attest.

The Losers 2?

"The Losers" was meant to set up a franchise, but it didn't pan out. Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan believes the movie's lackluster, franchise-thwarting box office performance was due to how the film was marketed, not the film itself (a theory borne out by how popular the movie is on Netflix). "We had this amazing cast," Morgan said in a 2018 interview with Fandom. "And, I mean, really amazing cast when you look at it now. I think something got lost on the other end of things."

He said that the movie had such great talent, a great story, and great graphic novel source material to work with, and "the ball was dropped" on making it as big as it could have been. "We talk about it frequently. All of us. We're still friends," Morgan said of his superstar castmates. He also said that be down for a sequel, should the opportunity ever arise. Never say never!