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The A-Team (2010)

A film adaptation of the classic 80s television show.

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2 ½ Stars: I Pity The Fools Who Made This "Ala-A-Team" Flick!!....

  • Jan 24, 2011
Rating:
+2
The 80’s TV show called “The A-Team” was a product of that generation. Sure, it was cheesy, sure it was campy at times and sure it often feels like a team of “MacGyvers” who can build things to get out of a situation, I also never saw them ‘kill’ in the TV series. Well, I am sure this was a long time coming, so now the TV series gets a ‘face-lift’. 2010’s “The A-Team” is meaner, louder and has a plot that seemed inspired by both the TV series and the Bourne franchise. It works as a tribute and a sort of a prequel to the TV series, that has the liveliness of the source material and director Joe Carnahan seemed to have the actors have fun shooting the film. Yes, this movie is another of those things that require a huge suspension of disbelief, you may have fun, but just get ready to roll your eyes from time to time…



A group of men brought together by their “Army Ranger” mentality and by destiny, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson, “Taken“), B.A. Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper, “The Hangover“) and “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley) have completed 80 covert missions and they are now facing the end of the Iraq war. But a C.I.A. agent named Lynch (Patrick Wilson) enlists their aid to recover some counterfeit plates being transported in the heart of Baghdad. This mission causes them to lose their rank and lands them a prison sentence since its extremely covert nature doesn’t have any paper trail and their orders couldn‘t be verified. Framed for a crime they did not commit, Smith hatches up a scheme to break out his team out of prison and find the one responsible for their incarceration. With revenge and redemption in their minds, the four kicks off a series of shoot-outs and planning that has department of justice and Face’s former lover, Capt. Carissa Sosa (sexy Jessica Biel) hot on their trail. But the team soon uncover corruption within their chain of command…

                      

                                   
      
                    

I am not sure, I know action movies have to be loud, dumb and filled with bravado and machismo, this is why the original TV series created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo was successful. It was just good, dumb fun. Well, this film is louder and it delivers some of the lines with a straight face; Joe Carnahan (“Smokin’ Aces”), directs with 80’s action movies in mind, and he has the skill to pull off a film that pushes burly behavior and action to the limit while pitting the team against an opponent with the same training and skills. The film also has some intended dramatic scenes as our foursome was stripped of their rank and a funeral sequence that should’ve been one of the film’s more sober sequences.

The characters were faithful to the source material, Smith is the same cigar-chomping character; while Baracus (afraid of flying) and Peck (fast-talking charisma) had the same qualities as in the series, and Murdock was nicely portrayed by Copley. But these are the characters somewhat more exaggerated in a manner that they appeared to be more ‘brawny’ than the ones in the series. It works in some ways since soldiers are supposed to be raw and rough; but at the same time, the characters lose some of their quirky charm that made their chemistry worked. Now I am not saying that the actors didn’t connect, but it was just that it never gave them time to connect with the viewers and the film relies on the assumption that anyone who would watch the movie would be a fan of the TV series. Well, what about those who weren’t? It does have several tribute scenes such as Baracus’ black GMC van, a machine gun that looked like it came from the TV series and Murdock’s puppetry gave a sense of nostalgia. Yes, the performances were decent for what they were meant to be, and the actors did seem to have fun in the scenes.

                         

                          

                         

The film serves up a lot of testosterone, and the direction is quick to capitalize on fancy editing trickery while taking the material as seriously as he could. I did feel that I was watching a film made by Michael Bay as the way the film moved, it had a ton of style but there were times when the style just ruined the emotions that I didn’t become attached to the scenes. The action scenes were loud, stylish and felt cool; Carnahan knew how to frame those shots, he also knows how to make use of some shadows to exude a gritty feel. They were all built on chases and quick escapes. However, the film’s action had some uneven shifts in tone and there were times it lost the feeling of suspense or thrills. I guess it was because while a scheme was being hatched up, the execution was being played/shown in one sequence. I know the direction wanted to do a play-by-play sense of things to express Hannibal‘s knack for planning, but it didn’t help matters any. As for the film’s tone and mood, there were scenes that were just outrageous (like the tank scene) and yet, Carnahan fails to capitalize on its over-the-top moments and instead delivers them as if we have to take them seriously.

                  

                 

This extended cut also features some more screen time for Sosa and some more stops for characterization according to my research. I am not sure but maybe the added scenes slowed down its pacing that I fear that it may have affected my enjoyment of the feature. I suppose the film does hit on some positives, the characters were at least reminiscent of the source material and while Jackson is more of a “mumbler” type compared to Mr. T (who was utterly charismatic), I had mixed feelings to this evolution. Biel’s character may also be an improvement over the reporter-friend they had in the series. Copley does an amazing job as Murdock I have to admit; he exuded that same manic, playful charisma as the one in the series.

In a nutshell, I didn’t hate “The A-team”, it was fast, loud and stylish. As a kid, I was a fan of the series and this had enough tribute shots that made me feel nostalgic. The direction was a uneven though, and there were times that I was unsure how he really wanted to serve up this movie; one moment it was serious and the next it felt a little too “hammy”; a film needs to be consistent otherwise, those tonal shifts can kill enjoyment. At the very least, the film did have some nice action set pieces albeit some executions were clunky, it was almost like watching a Michael Bay movie. Too bad, it reached for the spirit that made the source material fun, but it never achieved it.

RENT IT! [2 ½ Out of 5 Stars]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2 ½ Stars: I Pity The Fools Who Made This Film Close But No

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January 25, 2011
I pity the A-Team for being a bunch of lousy G.I. Joe wannabes who had some of the worst enemies in history. Heck, I've never fired a handgun in my life and even I wouldn't have missed that much.
January 30, 2011
I know. In the movie, at least they kill which was a departure of the improbable style that the TV series characters used machine gunfire to intimidate and made the bad guys lose? Highly improbable, but I guess it was alright at the time..
 
January 25, 2011
Nice review, William. I never saw the original; I just was never interested. Probably won't see this one either. Still, sounds like a fun film for some. :)
January 25, 2011
now you know where I got the "I Pity the Fool..." LOL! really? you never checked out even an episode? I guess I can see that. I do prefer MacGyver over that show...
January 28, 2011
Yup, now I know. :D And, correct. I don't think I've ever seen MacGyver either though. :-P
 
January 24, 2011
You know I loved Rampage in this WP, great review.
January 25, 2011
Wish he had more of a role....
 
January 24, 2011
Wow, that review title sounds awfully familiar. Seriously though, I enjoyed reading this. Maybe I would have like the movie more if the extended version had been released in theaters. Still, I'm resistant to films that cater to fanbases and leave general audiences out in the cold.
January 24, 2011
I know. I just couldn't think of anything cooler....you just have to have that Mr. T reference LOL! Yeah, I wanted to like it and I admit there were some scenes that had potential but I am not sure what it was, something didn't 'click' somehow.
 
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More The A-Team (2010) reviews
review by . January 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****     I'm not the biggest fan of "The A-Team" and I'm not the biggest fan of director Joe Carnahan; which probably accumulates to some sort of explanation to why I was never expecting the big-screen adaptation of everyone's favorite "dumb fun" action Television series to be anything amazing. And what do you know: it ends up being exactly as I expected. Carnahan's "The A-Team" is a noisy action flick; an explosion filled thrill-ride that's all guns and no muscle. …
review by . December 12, 2010
I didn't see that many good films in 2010. In fact, the only other two good ones that I saw besides this are Scott Pilgrim and Inception. I saw this with my oldest brother on his birthday, and I was one of three females in the theatre, and definitely the only one who looked like I was enjoying myself. I definitely was, because The A-Team was a really fun movie.      The purpose of all movies is not just to educate. Some are made to entertain, like the likes of this and Prince …
review by . June 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
For better and for worse
"The A-Team"(1983-1987) was one of televisions most popular shows  for its time  it told the story of  three  Vietnam soldiers; Col. John " Hannibal" Smith, Lt. Templeton  "Faceman" Peck,  Sergeant Bosco " B.A." Baracus  who during the  last days of  the  war are tasked by there commanding officer Col. Morrison  with robbing a bank in Hanoi They succeeded in their mission, but on returning to their base …
review by . February 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
JUST PLAIN FUN
      THE A TEAM      When this film was first announced I was really excited for it because one of my favorite Mixed Martial artists Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson would star in it. Of course you know I had tog o see it and own it when it was released on DVD and Blu Ray. So here we are and I am finally going to review it, something I should have done a while back. Still better late than never I always say, or is that some one else's saying, anyway.   …
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
The film is just straight up fun, nothing more nothing less, if you try to turn on the brain you may disappointed. Everything in this movie goes bang and everything is pure dumb fun. I knew this going in luckily so I had a great time watching it. Not to mention that mixed martial artist Quinton "Rampage" Jackson plays BA, love it.
review by . June 14, 2010
I Pity the Fool who doesn't like The A-Team!
TV Show Adaptations have been the theatrical kiss of death for a long time now. Not because the idea of taking an old beloved television series and modernizing it in a feature film isn't a plausible idea, but because the studios almost always drop the ball. Most of the time, they play the revival for comic effect instead of nostalgic revival, like The Dukes of Hazard, Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels. When they occasionally do take the update …
review by . June 16, 2010
I'd like to pretend, being a child of the 80s, that I have great and fond memories of the TV series The A-Team. I'd like to, but, well, I can't because I don't. I dimly remember seeing a couple episodes at my uncle Scott's house, and I certainly remember the merchandising bonanza centered around it, but I don't really remember being all that into the show. Perhaps because when you get down to it, it's pretty forgettable.    Speaking of forgettable things, let's talk about the …
review by . June 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There is some semblance of a story in "The A-Team." I seem to recall the team members being framed for a crime they didn't commit, a plot to recapture counterfeit treasury plates, a lot of double crossing, Bradley Cooper trying to rekindle a relationship with Jessica Biel, and scene after scene of escaping and jumping and falling and exploding and running and flying, most of them aided by heavy computer graphics and a very unsteady camera. That's about it. Is this enough to sustain a nearly two …
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dull, stupid, cliche and quite frankly boring on many levels Joe Carnahan's "The A-Team" is as convoluted as it is childish it ceases to amaze with its constant action and lack of direction leave little room for you to really enjoy or be entertained by this over stylized shoot'em up/ revenge film.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
An excellent adaptation of the classic TV show that manages to modernize and update while retaining the charm of the original, from the man that brought us Smokin' Aces. Don't you love it when a plan comes together?
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William ()
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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Wiki

Give it up to the A-Team: they've always been good at demolishing things in big, big ways. Freed from the confines of the 1980s TV series, the 2010 blockbuster movie version allows the four members of the paramilitary squad to really amp up the mayhem to newly crazed heights. Liam Neeson plays team leader Hannibal Smith (inheriting the cigar-chomping from the show's George Peppard), and pro wrestler Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is "B.A." Baracus, the TV show's most iconic character (insert Mr. T "I pity the fool" joke here). As the vain Face, Bradley Cooper preens in convincing fashion, andDistrict 9out-of-nowhere star Sharlto Copley plays the unhinged pilot "Howlin' Mad" Murdock. These boys are on the trail of some money-counterfeiting plates, from Bagdad to Germany to places in between. It would be understating it to say that the plot is not of primary importance, although Patrick Wilson has some fun as a CIA official and Jessica Biel occasionally strikes poses as Face's ex-flame, now a military officer displeased with the A-Team's extra-legal shenanigans. The storytelling ...
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Details

Director: Joe Carnahan
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: June 11. 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom
Runtime: 118 minutes, extended cut: 134 minutes
Studio: Dune Entertainment
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