“The A-Team” Movie Review

    Walking into the “A-Team”, I certainly had high expectations, just as I would for any remake or update of a popular 80’s television series.  I felt really good about the cast and the trailer reminded me of the “Charlie’s Angels” movies,  so I was definitely raring to go.  On top of that, I’m a big UFC fan and getting to see the likes of Quentin “Rampage” Jackson in his first big movie role peaked my interest even more.  As I expected, the A-Team delivered on its promise of an entertaining action film and really took advantage of its roots in the television series.

     I wasn’t a fan of Joe Carnahan’s “Smoking Aces”, but he got the directing job here and thankfully The A-Team is not a mess like that film.  Though the action sequences are shot mostly in that jerky “Paul Greengrass” camera movement style, they still come together nicely with a believable blend of live action and CGI.  The technical aspects of this film are excellent.  I noticed in the credits that both Ridley Scott and Tony Scott were producers and I was immediately excited as I knew this film would be something more than average.

     As is mostly typical of this kind of fare, the script is chalk full of one liners and very few intelligent conversations, though I didn’t view the acting as too over the top.  Each member of the A-Team certainly is given their moments to shine and the supporting cast, that includes Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson, provide just the right amount of counter play to the film’s leading men.

     As Hannibal, Liam Neeson channels his inner George Peppard and plays the role perfectly.  He is clearly a born leader and the master mind of the team’s operations.  As Faceman, Bradley Cooper is a natural to play the role made famous by Dirk Benedict.  He was may favorite character in the show and Cooper definitely found his mark.  As Murdock, Sharlto Copley is as mentally disturbed as ever.  If you recall, he was the lead in last year’s “District 9” and is given the chance to use his South African voice in a funny bit near the beginning of the film.  Finally, the role made famous by Mr. T, B.A. Baracus.  I didn’t know if Rampage had the acting chops to pull this off, but I knew as far as the look and attitude he would be a natural.  I thought he would be a side show in the film with no real lines and/or acting involved, but I was wrong.  Rampage goes well beyond the “pity the fool” line and really stands out with the other stars.  In the right role, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rampage starring in many more big films down the road.  I do hope he will finish his career in the UFC first though!

     Like the weekly television series, the film’s plot centers around a “plan” for some type of covert operation.  The film starts by giving us some back story as to how the A-Team became a team in the first place and shows us what the circumstances were that led to their incarceration, escape, and their being wanted by the government. There is no doubt these guys are good at what they do and the film showcases each team member’s skills in a variety of situations.  Among the action sequences, the final sequence in the film is truly awesome and well thought out. It gave the film the sense of having a very satisfying ending.

     I look at the A-Team, not as a first rate film, but as an above average summer popcorn film.  I doubt anyone will walk away saying they weren’t entertained, but you won’t hear anyone talking about this film when awards season arrives either.  I normally have something critical to comment on, but with this film I can’t.  I got what I paid for and that’s all one can ask.