Those are golden words to a generation of kids who made sure, that no matter what, they were planted in front of the TV in the 80’s when The A-Team was at it’s peak. Now as adults, those same people get to revisit their childhood and their heroes, but this time it’s on the big screen.
The A-Team is directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as B.A. Baracus, and Sharlto Copely as Murdock. Wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, the quartet break out and go on the lam in order to clear their names and reclaim their careers and lives and bring the true criminal to justice.
I’ll admit that I didn’t really watch The A-Team growing up. I only started watching it in my 20’s and early 30’s so I can’t speak from a nostalgic point of view. For me, this film delivers all of the fun that a typical summer popcorn film is supposed to deliver. It’s was fast paced and full of explosions, humor, absolutely ridiculous stunts and reality impaired action. But oh what a ride it was.
Not really knowing the original story of the team I wouldn’t have known any different about what the film was trying to do. I did however go to see this with a true A-Team aficionado. In the beginning she wasn’t real happy when the characters were introduced but once it became clear that they were providing the viewers with a bit of an origin story, she became happy again.
If you’re familiar with any of my reviews, you will know I don’t do spoilers of any kind. I keep the synopsis to an absolute minimum and try to keep any key details out. So as far as the story goes, I’ll just give you the basics. You see the team as they first meet one another and are then taken to a point 8 years later after they have established themselves as a team. You go through the court hearing, conviction, jail time, break out and the mission to clear their names. It moves quickly, but it doesn’t really linger in one place too long. Sometimes this type of pacing can be a detriment, but it’s easy enough to follow along so you’re not left scratching your head trying to figure it out.
What can I say. I think they nailed it. From the pictures that were first released I was surprised at how much they all looked the part. Liam Neeson just keeps getting better with age. He’s got that twinkle in his eye that George Peppard had and you can tell that the man really does like it when a plan comes together. He conveyed the aura of a leader and that made him the perfect Hannibal.
I always have a giggle when I think of Bradley Cooper. I can’t help but remember him from Alias. Boy has come a long way. Even though he looks great without a shirt on, you may not think of him as any type of action film actor. I am rethinking my stance on this point because here he’s able to hold his own in the action scenes. He also provides a bit of comic relief as well which is not unexpected. He’s got the comedy chops to pull it off without it being awkward.
My first thought when I heard about Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as B.A. was ‘Who?’. I don’t follow the UFC or MMA so I wasn’t familiar with him. I was a tad nervous for anyone trying to fill Mr. T’s shoes however. He is, after all, an icon. But Jackson does an awesome job. Bringing the qualities that made B.A., the mo-hawk, the scowl, the fear of flying, alive once again. B.A. was a perfect role for Jackson, and I’m excited to see what else he does in the future.
Oh Sharlto Copley. You had me at District 9, but now I’ll forever be smitten with you. After hearing his Wikus accent in District 9, I was wondering how he would sound with an American accent that has a bit of a southern drawl. The answer is he sounded American. Go figure right? At one point, when Murdock had to use a different accent, they did a nice little shout out and he reverted back to the Wikus accent. His portrayal of Murdock was spot on I thought. He had the crazy eye, and crazy talk down to a science.
I’ve said that it’s fun and fast paced and what a summer film should be. There were parts of the action that I had a hard time following only because they used the late night drunk camera to film it. I guess a steady cam wouldn’t work in that type of scene though. Otherwise there were plenty of explosions, fighting and gun fire to make this action movie fan happy. Some of the CGI could have been a little better, but that’s just getting nit picky. The tank scene provided some great action along with some hearty chuckles. It stuck to the fun and cheesiness of the series even if it went a bit beyond with the death toll and sexual innuendos. I will tell you to keep your eyes open as you watch this. I found out about some little Easter eggs after I saw it and am thinking I need to go again so I can catch them. They are subtle so keep your peepers open. I didn’t stick around for the credits though, so I can’t say if there is anything afterward. If there is and you see it, let us know in the comments.
All in all, The A-Team delivers exactly what you think it will. It’s a film that you can go zone out on and leave the real world behind for 2 hours, have some laughs, get excited over some good action and just have fun with. It’s not an Oscar winner, but it’s not meant to be. And that’s ok with me. I get nervous with all of these remakes, re-imaginings, and reboots that are happening these days. But with The A-Team, I’ll just say, I love it when a reboot comes together.