A covert operations team searches for answers after they're convicted of a crime they didn't commit.
My entire awareness of The A-Team as a television series is having it's theme song memorized from when I was a little kid and my father would fall asleep with the T.V. on. He wasn't watching The A-Team, mind you; he was watching old Mission Impossible episodes. But after back to back burning fuses that red and black van would come roaring into view- and I would again be bored to tears. And there you have it, everything I know about The A-Team. Luckily, as a motion picture it manages to be a bit more memorable.
Through what may very well be one of the longest opening sequences in action movie history we are re/introduced to our team members: Hannibal, Face, Murdock, and B.A. Baracus- played by Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copely and Quinton Jackson, respectively. All find there way to shine -even Jackson, who's no Oscar winner but proves impressive for a U.F.C. Title-holder-turned-actor. The most interesting performance is, by far, Copely's. More important than the fact that it's highly entertaining, this role serves as elegant proof that his spectacular debut in last years hit District 9 was far from a fluke.
That the characters are the whole reason for this movie is a fact that shines like a beacon from it's first moment to the roll of the credits. No matter how over the top the action- and believe me, it's over- the people manage not to get lost in the shuffle, er, explosions. This I attribute to director Joe Carnahan, who proved with his well crafted actioner Smokin' Aces, and the dark and gritty Narc, that he's well aware action is no substitute for story- even if it's only enough story to justify the aforementioned action. The A-team manages to never come up short on booms, while still keeping us interested in the people behind them. No easy feat.
A television adaptation is tricky buisness -I think we've all seen how bad they can go (*cough* My Favorite Martian *cough*)-and while the The A-team is well done, it's far from innocent. Listening to Jackson drop 'Fool' after 'Fool' while desperately trying not to sound like Mr. T gets old very fast, though in his defence the plot takes care of that soon after. It's almost like the writers knew they couldn't get away with leaving something like that out, so they got it all out of the way right off the bat and then never looked back. Other Series throw-backs are delivered with more subtlety, and spaced across the film so as not to arouse too much suspicion, a fact I am very thankful for.
The A-team offers little to challenge the mind, it's true. But why would it? This movie is meant to be a good time, and in this it succeeds. I was in for a very big surprise when I sat down in my seat, and for what it's worth The A-Team gets my vote for best "Summer Blockbuster" yet this year... And I'd just like to mention how much I did not expect to be saying this. I have my doubts about how long it could manage to hold on to the title with so many heavy-hitters yet to hit the field, but for now it's in the lead. Whether it's short lived as king of the hill or not, The A-Team is back and, as far as I'm concerned, better than ever. But then, how could I hate it with Major Dad on the roster.
Reel Deal Recommends:
(I tried to walk away from this section but my heart just couldn't let go)
Darkman: Liam Neeson in a movie worth watching if only to have seen it.
Midnight Meat Train: Cooper and Jackson star; Oddity makes it worthy.
District 9: If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor.