I was a little cautious sitting down to watch the new A-Team, adapted from the 80’s television show of the same name. Although I liked it as a kid, the show itself hasn’t aged all that well.
The new film does make some departures from the original. The squad are no longer Vietnam vets, instead they are veterans of several skirmishes and war zones including the U.S. involvement in Iraq. This is where things turn bad for the team as they are framed for a crime they didn’t commit.
I enjoyed the similarly themed The Losers from early this year and proposed if The A-Team was half as good I’d be happy. Turns out I’m happy. It’s not as good as The Losers, and it amps up the absurd to new levels (the team flies a tank in this movie), but I’ve got to admit it’s a fun ride.
Here’s your team (all of whom are crazier than their television counterparts):
Murdock (Sharlto Copley): Crazy as ever, though all the members are to some degree which slightly negates Mrudock’s defining characteristic. Unlike on the TV-show Murdock is charged and convicted along with the rest of the team.
B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson): Still afraid of flying (and you learn why) B.A. joins the team by being shot by its leader. Although they try to provide a questionable subplot in an attempt to make the character more conflicted the film works best when they just let Barrackas do his thing – bust heads.
Face (Bradley Cooper): Probably the film’s best casting choice. Charming, with a weakness for the ladies, Cooper picks up where Dirk Benedict left off. The sub-plot involving Face’s former squeeze Jessica Biel threatens to derail the film a couple of times, but his charm helps push it along.
Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson): Although he’s no George Peppard, Neilsen makes the character more of a mad genius and he’s probably the only one of the group who wouldn’t have gotten court martialed within days of his enlistment.
The film is entirely set around the team’s creation, the mission which landed them in prison, and their attempt to right that wrong. Which means the main basis of the weekly series, of the team helping someone in need, isn’t to be found here.
It’s not a great film, but you could do worse for a summer popcorn flick. Absurd and fun, if you’re in need of some fun, if no other movie can help, and if you can find them, I’d recommend you see the A-Team.