June 13, 2010

12.06: The A-Team

Joe Carnahan's big screen adaptation of the 80's action show is exactly what you'd expect and want from it: crazy big fun, with a smart-arse grin and over-the-top action. And that crazy big action is where the film really works its mojo.

I enjoyed the TV show enough when I was a kid, not enough to remember much about it or want to revisit it now and I was initially sceptical bout a film adaptation being worth anyone's while. But, boy it works. Part of that is down to the cast; while they don't have the easy chemistry evidenced in The Losers, these four guys still work really well together. Liam Neeson's Hannibal anchors the team, while Bradley Cooper as Face is all charm and smarm. Strange to think how he's come from being the slightly annoying best/boyfriend on Alias to starring in major blockbusters. Quinton Jackson is fine enough as BA Baracus, as he's not really asked to do any heavy lifting when it comes to character work, though occasionally hard to understand. Sharlto Copley gives us a properly insane Howlin' Mad Murdock. The guy is unhinged. And they each get their own beats and moments. As do the villains of the piece - Patrick Wilson's slippery CIA man is all talk and tech flash, while Brian Bloom's Pike is a credible threat to the A-Team and the scene with the two of them in the car... priceless.

I think the best way to describe the film is, its like watching the imagination of a 12 year old boy running around, playing crazy games with his toys. It's just that this 12 year old boy's toys happen to be Hollywood actors, jet planes and flying tanks. That's right. Flying tank. For me, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was one of the best bits about the whole damn film. It summed up the perfect ridiculousness of the whole thing, but ridiculousness we were all in on and more than happy to go along with.

Easily one of the most enjoyable films of the blockbuster season. Its nice to be able to recommend a big summer film, that also happens to be an adaptation of an old TV show, instead of warning people off (see: Prince of Persia). Even nicer is leaving the theatre, and wanting to see a sequel, wanting to see where the hell they can go next.


  1. Great review, not that I've seen it yet - just enjoying your style, Mr James.

  2. Looking forward to it! the show is one of Dave's all-time favourites, and we've had an Orange Wednesdays joke A-Team trailer before every movie for the past few months.