If it's crap ... We'll tell you
In a movie world that is entirely too inundated with adaptations, remakes, and sequels, I can’t really say that an A-Team film was something that had to happen. The 1980s show was a popular one, and
had an enduring fan base that could have gone their whole lives with
just the memories of one of their favorite shows. Inevitably though, we
got an A-Team film, and it has been one characterized by
mixed reviews and a dampened box office gross. While I can’t speak for
others however, I can certainly speak for myself, and as it stands I
enjoyed this film.
The A-Team serves as a prequel to the show, depicting the beginnings of an Army rangers Alpha Unit, comprising of four members
each with their own unique skills. The team consists of the tactical
leader Col. John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson), suave Lt. Templeton
“Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper), tough mechanic Cpl. B.A. Baracus
(Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), and crazy pilot Captain H.M. “Howling Mad”
Murdock(Sharlto Copley). After years of successful missions together,
the team is convicted for a crime they didn’t commit and quickly
escape, seeking to clear their names and bring those responsible for
framing them to justice. As wanted fugitives, the A-Team must contend
with Face’s ex-girlfriend military lieutenant Lt. Charisa Sosa
(Jessica Biel), villainous ex-military Brock Pike (Brian Bloom), and
the enigmatic C.I.A. operative only known as Lynch (Patrick Wilson).
I’m come up front and just say it: this film is a stupid, flawed film. Firstly, the story is quite confusing at times and really only
serves as a vehicle for one-liners, action sequences, and humor between
the four main leads. Secondly, the action set-pieces suffer themselves
from the “Bourne Effect,” as its camera movements and editing are so
disjointed and off-the-wall, that it is hard for the audience to really
get a clear sense of what is going on for a lot of the fight sequences.
The biggest thing though is the sheer ridiculousness as the film, as it
succeeds in raising the bar for being over-the-top, while
simultaneously taking a dump over all the laws of physics.
At the same time, this is a very fun film to watch and entertaining from start to finish. What this film has that propels it to this
height, are the characters and the tone. The acting for the four main
characters are all very solid, as the actors bring their A-game to
embody the A-Team (insert strained chuckle here) and create wonderful
character relationships that resonate with both familiarity and
hilarity. The one I want to single out especially is Sharlto Copley,
who displays just as much acting prowess for the scene-stealing Mad
Murdock as he did playing Wikus van de Merwe in District 9.
Coupled with these performances is the light-hearted tone of the film,
which never takes itself too seriously and thus allows us as the
audience to fully enjoy it as a humorous and action-packed experience.
Overall, this is a dumb action film, but a fun one. It’s a really good popcorn film that captures what made the original series great,
with ridiculous stunts, interesting characters, and an over-the-top
tone that allows the material to have fun, and subsequently, allows us
to have fun.