The A-Team

The A-Team

***

Reviewed by: Maria Realf

As a child of the Eighties, I was probably looking forward to the film version of The A-Team more than any other small-to-big-screen revival. How great, I thought, to bring Hannibal, Face, Murdock and BA Baracus back together, only this time with more action, more effects and no doubt more budget. I practically skipped into the cinema, giddy with anticipation, pitying the fools who’d have to wait another three weeks to see the movie. And I should have made the most of that moment, because that was about as exciting as my night got.

That’s not to say that, in many ways, my initial expectations were too far off. There’s certainly big-budget action aplenty, with some great combat scenes both in the air and on terra firma, and one truly terrific skyscraper sequence that gives me vertigo just thinking about it. What the film does lack is a decent plot: it’s all brawn and very little brains.

Copy picture

Now, no one’s saying that the original A-Team scripts were on a par with Shakespeare, but they did have an underlying heart and sense of humour. The film version, however, has a woolly storyline involving some missing plates (of the counterfeiting kind, not the kitchen variety) and plot twists so obvious that BA might as well have bashed you over the head with them.

Thankfully, the movie is saved by the aforementioned action scenes and some fun performances from its four male leads. Liam Neeson is confident and charismatic as team leader Hannibal; Bradley Cooper is convincingly charming (if somewhat on the smarmy side at times) as ladies’ man Face; and Sharlto Copley is marvellously off his rocker as ‘Howlin’ Mad’ Murdock, cementing his reputation after District 9 as a real talent to watch. Meanwhile the relatively unknown Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has a reasonable stab at filling Mr T’s iconic shoes, although the actual character of BA could have done with being more bad-ass (as well as his fear of flying, he develops an aversion to fighting – not massively helpful when you’re under attack from evil villains). As Mr T might say in those Snickers ads: Get some nuts!

All things considered, this is an adequate summer blockbuster, containing enough explosions, chases and other high-octane stunts to satisfy the average action fan. But it still feels like a plan that could have come together a little bit better.

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2010
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The A-Team packshot
War veterans try to clear their name with the military after being framed for a crime they didn't commit
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Director: Joe Carnahan

Writer: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom and Skip Woods, based on the TV series

Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Jessica Biel

Year: 2010

Runtime: 117 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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