A COUPLE of months ago Matthew Vaughn’s hyper- violent Kick-Ass somersaulted over the graves of Watchmen and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, proving comic book-inspired action movies can be as smart and sassy as the cult pictorials they are based on.

Director Sylvain White continues the good work with The Losers, an explosive romp based on the potty-mouthed DC Comics series written by Andy Diggle and illustrated by Jock.

From its lurid opening frames, White’s film embraces a heightened reality with bold, colourful graphics and exaggerated violence, coupled with snappy dialogue lifted from the page by screenwriters Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt.

They jettison most of the swearing to secure a family-friendly 12A certificate without sacrificing the big laughs or the bigger bangs, although one steamy bedroom scene might convince parents to leave small children with the babysitter.

Elite Special Forces commander Clay (Dean Morgan) and his team oversee the bombing of a drugs factory in the jungles of Bolivia.

The Losers is a rollicking romp, which would be about 10 minutes leaner if director White was more judicious with slow motion in his action sequences.

Set pieces are breathlessly orchestrated, culminating in an overblown showdown at the dockyards, and the machine- gun banter is riddled with snappy one-liners.

Short and Evans monopolise the belly laughs, the latter playing up to his image as a goofball in scenes such as the one when Jensen performs a quick change in a lift and quite literally gets caught with his trousers down by four women.

Patric is a hoot too as the pantomime villain who is poorly versed in social niceties.

The door is left wide open for a sequel, so if The Losers prove to be box-office winners Clay and his team will be back, armed with even bigger guns and quips.