The A-Team is, hopefully, not the movie-makers’ A-game. That said, it’s full of some enjoyable stuff that shows an awareness of its source material and still provides some laughs and mindless fun.
Don’t let the hoity-toity critics turn you off; if you like action flicks, you’ll probably like The A-Team.
Here’s a trailer:
Released June 11, 2010
Written by Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, and Skip Woods. Based on the series created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell
Directed by Joe Carnahan
Starring: Jessica Biel, Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quentin Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Gerald McRaney, and Henry Czerny
* * * * *
An alpha team of Special Forces operatives successfully concludes a harrowing operation coming out of Iraq, but at the last moment, everything goes south and the blame is pinned on them. After an unfair court-martial, they are sentenced to prison. But in prison, their leader, Hannibal (Neeson), is visited by a CIA agent named Lynch (Wilson), who says he can help Hannibal and his team escape and prove their innocence.
The team gets out and they proceed to chase down the leads they are fed by Lynch, with Face (Cooper), charming women left and right, Murdock (Copley) acting as their nutso pilot, and BA Baracus (Jackson) acting as the muscle. Chasing them is Charissa Sosa (Biel), a smart and determined lady who wants justice. She might also be a former flame of Face.
Unsurprising conflicts and explosions ensue, with betrayals coming right on cue. One-liners spring from Hannibal like freshly minted gold coins and the team’s dynamics match those of the team in the original series near-perfectly.
All comes to a satisfying and relatively creative conclusion which will not be disclosed here, because spoilers are the devil. Or at least the fru-its of the devil.
This is an entertaining film. Fans of the original series with its cheesiness, absurdity, charm, and over-the-top action– along with its heart and moral center– will enjoy it a lot.
The writing doesn’t try hard to introduce new twists or anything too intense or heavy– which is in keeping with the weight of the TV show. Sure, because of this restraint, there’s not a lot that’s surprising about the plot or dialogue. But that is mitigated by some overall charming performances. First off, these guys clearly studied their source characters. All of them recreate their character convincingly, with Jackson doing a particularly good job of adding a little more humor to his excellent BA.
What is it with these fighter/wrestler supermen who have great comedic timing? Dwayne Johnson, anyone?
It seems like Joe Carnahan, the driving force behind this (who also did the extraordinary The Grey), essentially decided to create a feature-length episode of the old TV show– and that will work for most audience members.
In any case, just know that the clever, snide reviews of The A-Team come from people who probably never saw, and if they did, never liked, the original TV show. If you liked the TV show, you will get a kick out of the movie.
Content warnings: Some sensuality, some salty language, plenty of light-hearted and explosive action violence
Writing: 4 Acting: 4 Overall: 4
No needles required; just play your A-game and share this review with everyone you know. Do it now.
Now, tell me the truth; did you like this movie? Why or why not? What’d you think of Neeson as Hannibal?