A Film Review Blog

My Photo
Location: Dallas, TX
We Have A Mailing List! Subscribe Here!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The A-Team (2010)

I knew this day would come. The day when pretty much the last of all of my beloved childhood shows would be mangled on the silver screen. The Big Hollywood Regurgitation Machine destroyed The Avengers, The Mod Squad and Æon Flux. Now, they've gone after "The A-Team," a campy 1983 adventure show about four Vietnam vets who travel around righting wrongs, tossing around catchphrases and occasionally blowing things up. Joe Carnahan's big-screen reboot features lots of scenery-chewing, the same old catchphrases, and a whole lot of blowing things up. And it's not very good.

I won't even get into the myriad ways in which the film is different from the series, because that would just be a waste of time. Suffice to say, The A-Team is a film that is totally unnecessary, and not particularly entertaining.

“Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson) leads the titular band of disgraced veterans: “Face” Peck (Bradley Cooper), “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley) and, of course, Bosco B.A. Baracus (UFC fighter Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson). Of course, the casting is fine. Actually, it's too good for the script, which is about as interesting as unpredictable as watching a glacier move. The plot involves counterfeiters and evil CIA agents, but that's really beside the point. In one scene, Neeson quips "Overkill is underrated." Too bad he didn't tell the director, the screen writer and the special effects guys, because The A-Team is one fatuous movie excess after another. Neeson is a wonderful actor, but as Hannibal, he's ill-suited and turns in a rather one-note performance. And he misquotes Gandhi to promote violence, which, while hilarious, is kind of wrong.

I love a dumb shoot-em-up movie as much as the next person, but in adapting a television show for the big screen, one should either seek to add something new, or to duplicate and elevate the material of the original. On a good day (say, with The Addams Family,) both can be achieved. The A-Team is disappointing because it is no better than the worst episodes of the original series: stagnant, illogical, and predictable. Oh, sure, Hannibal gets to say "I love it when a plan comes together," B.A. talks about pitying fools, and Dirk Benedict (Faceman from the original series) pops up for a cameo. But at the end of the day, all that we're left with is the ashes of a fond childhood memory, and a sense that we want our money back.