The A-Team

I don’t remember much about The A-Team television show from the 1980s. I do remember my little brother was a big fan of the crew of misfits who traveled around the country helping people in need. This was the slight memory I took with me went I went to see the big screen version of The A-Team.

The premise of the film, which is sure to be the first in a franchise, is the same. Liam Neeson stars as Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, who loves it when a plan comes together. He’s joined by Bradley Cooper as ladies’ man Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck, mixed martial arts fighter Quentin “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Baracus and South African actor Sharlto Copley as “Murdock.”

The filmmakers felt it necessary to introduce us to the team’s back stories. So we first meet the crew as Hannibal is being beaten and left for dog food by some Mexican Banditos. He escapes and begins a trek across the desert where he encounters B.A., and after bonding as Army Rangers, Hannibal convinces the big guy to help him rescue Face from the same corrupt officials who left him for dead. After that mission is accomplished, the three make their way to a hospital where they’re introduced to the wacky Murdoch, a talented chopper pilot.

We next see the boys, including Bradley Cooper’s six pack abs, in Iraq. There they’re warned by Face’s former love interest – a by-the-rules Jessica Biel – that she’s there to accomplish a certain mission and the Alpha Team had better stay away from it, and allow some Halliburton-style mercenaries to complete the job. At the same time, they’re approached by a mysterious CIA operative, played by Patrick Wilson, to counteract Biel’s order and do it all themselves. They take the bait and the mission is accomplished, but not without some serious collateral damage, and the four are sent to military prison.

After an hour of introducing us to the team, we finally arrive at the story we’ve been expecting all along. After each of them is broken out of jail in the most improbable of manners, they begin to go about the business of clearing their names and bringing the bad guys to justice. As Biel’s character says, “They are the best and they specialize in the ridiculous.” Ridiculous, indeed, but in their ridiculousness some of the stunts are quite clever, including their efforts to fly a tank after their plane is shot down by drones. There are moments of levity, including Face’s wise-cracking and the creative ways they get around B.A.’s fear of flying. Copley, who was so amazing in the Oscar nominated District 9, has said in interviews that Murdock was his favorite character in the series and he does his best to push the crazy as far as he can in homage to his inspiration. There’s good chemistry among Neeson, Cooper, Jackson and Copley. The movie’s biggest short-coming is that, at almost two hours, it is too long, but I think I could be in the minority on this issue. If the audience I attended the screening with was any indication, we should get ready for The A-Team Two next summer.

(This Guest Chick is Alesia Stanford, the producer of HollywoodWeeklyTV.com)

1 Comments

  1. Children Trainers, June 25, 2010:

    As a kid i saw all the The A – Team Series every week without fail and enjoyed it. The A – Team Movie is the Best movie ever made. I Preordered it and have watched it 8 times in 2 days. I’m 17, so this movie attracts all age range.

Leave a comment