Who doesn't love The A-Team? The 80s cult-classic show featured over-the-top violence, totally corny dialogue, and a bad-but-weirdly-likable cast...on a weekly basis. That's impressive no matter how you look at it. Plus it had quite possibly the greatest opening for a TV show ever. People loved The A-Team, but by its fourth season ratings were falling and by the fifth and final season no one cared anymore. Pop culture was maturing for the dull 90s and it left The A-Team behind.
But through network repeats and loads of pop culture references, the show managed to stay relevant long past its expiration date. 20th Century Fox thinks it's time for The A-Team to receive an overdue reboot. What did I think of their results? Read on to find out!
Awesome Cast: One of the best parts of the original show was its cast, thanks to their cartoonish energy on screen and their knack for cheesy one-liners. In this aspect, the film passed with flying colors. Liam Neeson (Taken) is superior as Hannibal by actually making him a realistic leader and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) was a perfect fit for Face because the guy is ridiculously handsome and funny to boot. Casting a wrestler may seem like a weak decision, but B.A. was never quality-demanding material either and Quinton Jackson is impressively more likable as the iconic hothead. Finally, there's the most inspired choice of casting: Sharlto Copley (District 9) as Murdock because when you think about it, it's awesome. Considering that this is only Copley's second Hollywood movie, the superb actor has a bright future ahead and shows off his potential here as the crazed, cartoony, gut-busting character. The A-Team has as perfect of a cast as you could possibly get and without the excellent chemistry of the group, the movie wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable as it was.
Absurd Action: When I say absurd, I mean stealing-a-military-plane-and-fighting-stealth-jets-with-a-parachuting-tank absurd. The sequences are unrealistic, but not so much that it ruins the film. However, the movie firmly has its tongue in cheek, winking at the audience as it escalates from an upside down helicopter fight to the aforementioned flying tank scene. The kinetic, over the top action also include the best moments for the film's comedy as the characters react perfectly to each situation. The only part where they may have overdone it was when a docked freighter was tipped over and B.A. managed to escape the falling crates without a single scratch. But in the end, it's all in the name of good fun and if that's all you're looking for in a Summer blockbuster then The A-Team never disappoints.
A Little Stupid: Is it a surprise to learn that a remake of a show where one episode ended in a climactic action sequence featuring a cannon that shoots cabbage is a little stupid? Not really. What's more surprising is how the story is executed. It's nothing more than a big political cat-and-mouse game with our heroes caught in the middle of it, but there are a few nice twists and some great scenes that feed of the energetic story. That being said, most of the characters outside of the team are not even close to memorable. You have the CIA agent who's a douchebag, a black ops leader doing his best Batman impersonation who's gone rogue, and you have the evil mastermind behind the whole thing. To say the bad guys are paper thin would be a massive understatement. The A-Team does suffer from this issue, but it never reached a point where I felt the need to walk out of the theater. If you can tolerate a certain level of stupidity with your action movie, you shouldn't have any problems here.
Overall - Recommended:
This is not a movie that will change your life. This is not a movie that will redefine the Summer blockbuster. This is a move that is as epic as it is dumb. This is a movie that you go see with friends to have a fun time. People could complain that the story isn't very smart, the characters aren't realistic, and the action is equally as juvenile. But to them I would simply reply: 'what else do you expect from The A-Team'?
How the OGCF* review system works: there is an introduction paragraph, the three main points of discussion, and a final conclusion paragraph where a movie is either 'Recommended' or 'Not Recommended'.