Retro Review: The A-Team
A remake of the 1980′s television series of the same name, The A-Team follows a team of highly entertaining, and highly badass, spec-ops soldiers wrongfully accused of a conspiracy. Imprisoned, they must make their escape and figure out who set them up, and why. It might sound familiar, but did The A-Team deserve its lackluster take at the box office?
Being released in the same year as ‘The Losers‘, a frustrating film almost identical in plot, definitely hurt The A-Team. The film disappointed at the box office, ensuring that a sequel would not be made. That is just downright disappointing, because not only is The A-Team vastly superior to The Losers, it is a fantastic action romp in its own right.
The cast comes together perfectly, with Liam Neeson dialing his patented badassery up to 11 as Hannibal Smith, the leader of the group. His relationship with Bradley Cooper, who is pitch-perfect as Face, is especially delightful, with Sharlto Copley bringing the crazy as the team’s pilot, Murdock. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson had massive shoes to fill, as Mr. T’s portrayal of B.A. Baracus has become a thing of legend, but he manages just fine alongside his more established co-stars. As it must be in a film like this, the team of heroes is a joy to watch.
Jessica Biel stands her ground as the Colonel hot on the heels of our escapee heroes, but it’s Patrick Wilson who is straight-out killer as CIA sleaze Lynch. Wilson has such fun with the role that, honestly, the character could have carried his own film.
The action ranges from good to great, with some truly memorable sequences leaving your jaw on the floor. When a film features a parachuting tank in battle with fighter jets, you know you’re in for a good time. Only rarely does director Joe Carnahan fall into the pothole of camera-shaking, where things become difficult to follow and the film’s spacial awareness goes out the window. The script attempts to cram in both an uninteresting love story as well as a half-assed attempt at character development, both of which serve to take time away from what the film is really good at.
Final Verdict: A fantastic cast breathes life into what could have been another mishap of a remake. With some genuine laughs and a couple of stunning action sequences, The A-Team is classic pop-corn entertainment, despite making some (rather boring) missteps along the way.