Blast for action buffs

The A-Team (2010)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, PatrickWilson
Director: Joe Carnahan
Running Time: 117 mins

A-Team is the much anticipated remake of the popular 80’s TV series of the same name about a four-man elite army team imprisoned wrongfully for a crime they did not commit and upon breaking out seek to clear their names. After being helped by the CIA to break out of prison the team which includes John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Templeton ‘Face’ Peck, ‘Bad Attitude’ Baracus and ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock set out to catch the operatives who framed them and set the record straight.

The story has been updated with the army team being Gulf War veterans instead of Vietnam veterans as they are in the original series while in the movie they are framed for stealing plates for printing 100 dollar bills and not a bank robbery in Hanoi.

The A-Team film has been a project in the making since the mid 1990s but it always managed to get put back with constant restructurings and rewritings of the script. After more than a decade the film that was widely tipped to do big things at the box office and was on almost every list of movies to watch out for in 2010 has hit cinemas. However, with the constant delays in the production of the film, casting was obviously going to be a problem.

Acting Veteran Liam Neeson plays Hannibal, the brains behind the troupe while Hangover star Bradley Cooper plays Face. Both of them give witty performances that may not go down as their best but surely will suffice for a film of this calibre. Mr. T who was probably the true iconic character of the television series was obviously not going to be in the cast. This for many would be a problem.

Quinton Jackson plays the beloved B.A in the film and for the most part does an honest job of the role but no one can really say that Mr.T’s presence in the film would not be missed. The true standout performance would have to go to Sharlto Copley who played the adrenaline junkie/helicopter pilot Murdock. Copley best known for his performance in the Academy Award winning District 9, brought the wit and charm that held the film together and made it a little more than just a nostalgic car explosion. Jessica Biel delivers her usually mundane performance but then again no one ever watches her movies for the quality of her acting. Patrick Wilson made for an unusual CIA agent whose agenda is unknown at first and somehow his character and he seemed to be an oxymoron. Luckily though, good acting is always a secondary facet and often a luxury in these sorts of blow em ups.

For the most part the film really cannot be taken as more than a summer action flick which rides heavily on the shoulders of the television series it stems from. This is also where it fails the most as faithful followers of the series may be disappointed that some of the purest aspects of the 80’s A-Team are not captured in the film. Some of the most ludicrous action sequences in the film will probably become its best remembered features but it isn’t enough to make it a good film.

Taking into consideration though that some of the other action films that have been released this summer have been near-death-experiences for my soul, as unfortunate as it may sound, the A-Team may still be the smartest of them all. For Action buffs this movie will certainly be a blast.

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