Review: The A-Team

Yes, Hollywood has run out of original ideas. Yes, now ‘80s TV shows are being mined for content. Yes, yes, yes if they do them like this.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to a Family Ties or Punky Brewster but taking the already cartoonish characters of Hannibal, Face, B.A. and Howlin’ Mad Murdoch and putting them in an over-the-top summer action movie…it works. What do you want, Shakespeare?


If you’ve seen the TV show, you know the premise. It’s just updated. After eight years working together, the Alpha Unit (A-Team) is framed for a crime they didn’t commit (can’t you just hear the music?). So Hannibal (Liam Neeson), Face (Bradley Cooper), B.A. Barrachus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) and Murdoch (District 9’s Sharlto Copley) run from the military and C.I.A. to hunt down those that wronged them so they can clear their names and return to their lives. Then just sprinkle on some explosions, a dash of flying tanks and a few loving “when plans come together” and you have yourself a remake.

Summer movie = eyeball candy. If you’re looking for much more, you’re going to be disappointed. If you strap in and go with it, you may be pleasantly surprised. Not all the time but sometimes. The A-team delivers.

It’s a ride. And you can tell the actors are having fun reimagining those iconic TV roles. I have to say I enjoyed every one of the portrayals. Murdoch will stand out the most because he’s suppose to (he’s crazy!) but I had just as much fun with the rest of the team – Hannibal’s smarmy cigar-chomping, Face’s cocky fun attitude, and B.A.’s pities and fools and fear of flying. And the chemistry between the boys was great. All what it’s suppose to be – fun and familiar.

The rest of the cast are there to facilitate the team. Jessica Biel’s “stick any hot girl in this role” Lieutenant was probably the least riveting character but I did enjoy Patrick Wilson as C.I.A. agent Lynch. He just thinks all this stuff is so cool and you kind of have to agree with him. Cool nod to ‘80s Simon and Simon with Gerald Raney as the A-team’s commanding officer. I was waiting for Matt Houston to show up. Magnum?

Story? From A to B. Cool action and explosions? Of course. Style over substance? Obviously.  The big difference from the source material, they actually hit people when they shoot. Welcome to 2010.

The A-Team Rating:
3 stars – good movie, take a friend. One of the few summer movies so far where I’ve felt like I had a good time. It’s directed by Joe Carnahan, the same guy who put out Smokin’ Aces, and it has that kind of frantic energy. You’ll get the most enjoyment out of it if you liked the TV show. Nice to hang out with old friends while they shoot people.

Random Recommendations
Rob Roy (1995) – I’ve been waiting for a bit to recommend this one. If you like Braveheart (and I question your taste and/or sanity if you don’t), then this is right up your alley. Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt and Eric Stoltz tell the story of the legendary Scotsman who fought against British rule. A great movie made greater thanks to the performance of Tim Roth, who devours his scenes like they’re chew toys, and a finale sword fight to end all finale sword fights.


Cellular (2004) – A-Team falls under the mindless but fun entertainment category and this is grouped right in there. Jessica Biel is in it. But for about 3 minutes. The reason to check it out is Chris Evans, who seems to pull it off no matter how crap of a movie he’s in. Thankfully this isn’t one of them as Kim Basinger and Jason Statham raise the bar on a story that could have been direct-to-DVD.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Like this post? Please leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed for posts delivered right to you.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge