*Spoiler free review*
The resurrection of the 80’s continue with the remake of the mercenary action series, The A-Team. When I was kid, the A-Team was one of my favorite shows. In fact, In 6th grade I formed a club with 3 of my closest friends at the time. I played the huff’n & puff’n, hard-hitting BA Baracus. Not because I was particular tough, I was just the only minority in the group. I absolutely loved everything about the formulaic and cartoonish action that characterized the show. So when I heard that the noble and respected Liam Neeson was playing the part as John “Hannibal” Smith, I was worried. But, as he often touts in this movie, ‘there is always a plan’. The question is, does the plan come together?
A-Team starts with the origins story of how the team became a team. As you expect they are all involved in their own hair brained scheme when fate (and when I say fate, I mean Hannibal) brings them all together. Sharing allegiance as former Army Rangers, they soon become a special ‘black ops’ team saving the world behind closed army tents. However, the team is double crossed and convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. They make their escape and now are bent on proving their innocence while capturing the true traitors.
I was pretty shocked to realize halfway through this movie that I was actually going to enjoy this even though Rotten Tomatoes scored it in the 54%. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of problems with this reincarnation. The story is convoluted, the action is ridiculous, and the CGI is substandard in this new age of AVATAR. The pace of this movie is similar to a riot scene. You know something important is happening but all you manage to see are fists, explosions, and gun shots. There were times where I thought they just substituted actual choreography with shaky camera work hoping it would fool the viewer. Much of this was basically a gender change version of Charlie’s Angels. But despite these flaws, A-Team manages to accomplish two mission critical objectives.
First, the casting is surprisingly pretty good. Although I was skeptical of Rob Roy and Qui Gonn playing the snarky, pompous Hannibal Smith, he does quite well. The rest of the replacements do an enjoyable job as BA, Face, and Murdock too although BA was unfortunately under utilized. As the icon of the 80’s, I thought they should have played him up more. Out of the bunch Sharlto Copley (District 9) does the most impressive job as the mental, yet lovable team pilot. The second thing they did well was capturing the comradely of the team. They seem to genuinely care for each other and need each other to succeed. They each have their flaws and doubts but the team pushes forward together. This is no ‘Saving Private Ryan’ by any means but their brotherhood helped turn from a generic action mess and into a story about commitment and teamwork.
By the way, most don’t know but there is a couple of nice cameos after the credits so hang tight.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. It’s pretty forgettable and made of fluff, but it does capture the essence of summer movie. Going with the other Babblers, it made for the perfect guy flick. in fact I think I counted 3 girls in the whole theater. So, if you have a job that no-one else can handle and if you can find them, maybe you can hire….The A-Team!