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Movie Review: The A-Team

June 11, 2010

The A-Team – A 20th Century Fox Release

http://www.ateam-movie.com/

Release Date: June 11th

Rated PG for violence, and language may offend

Running time: 117 minutes

 

John Carnahan (dir.)

 

Joe Carnahan (writer)

Brian Bloom (writer)

Skip Woods (writer)

 

Frank Lupo (TV series)

Stephen J. Cannell (TV series)

 

Alan Silvestri (music)

 

Liam Neeson as Hannibal

Bradley Cooper as Face

Jessica Biel as Charisa Sosa

Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as B.A. Baracus

Sharlto Copley as Murdock

Patrick Wilson as Lynch

Gerald McRaney as General Morrison

Henry Czerny as Director McCready

 

Photo credit: Doug Curran

(clockwise from left): Face (Bradley Cooper), Murdock (Sharlto Copley), Hannibal (Liam Neeson) and B.A. (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) make sure their plan comes together.

 

Our reviews below:

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The A-Team Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

“I love it when a plan comes together” is, of course, the iconic line that Hannibal would say after a job well done.  And that’s why this new big screen version of the classic TV show, The A-Team, works so well: It all comes together seamlessly, with each new twist and turn adding to the suspense and fun.  And yes, there are many moments where that line is delivered.

 

The title card only comes after nearly 20 minutes, and that prolonged opening sequence are some of the best in the movie.  Starting out “somewhere in Mexico,” we are introduced to each of the characters one by one.  Hannibal (Liam Neeson), Face (Bradley Cooper), B.A. Baracus (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson), and Murdock (Sharlto Copley).  Eight years later, they are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and are discharged from the army.  The promptly break out of jail to prove themselves innocent.

 

There are many moments when you will have to suspend disbelief, like when they float a shipping crate on the water using air bags.  But I think audiences will be shocked at the intelligence of how the plan comes together.  The funniest scenes come courtesy of District 9’s Sharlto Copley, as the borderline crazy Murdock.  One of my favourite sequences involves a 3D movie at the psychiatric hospital.

 

There is just enough grittiness to ground the film in some sort of odd reality, but several stand-out action sequences to keep it light and entertaining.  The action scenes are well-edited, with the plan interspliced with the payoff, all leading up to the standout final showdown.

 

Sure, it’s not a really thinking film, but the action is exciting and the tone mostly comedic.  You don’t even have to of watched the original show to find entertainment value in this big screen version.  For those seeking entertainment and action for the long summer days ahead, The A-Team is a must-see.

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The A-Team Review by Erin V.

***1/4 (out of 4)

Hannibal, Face, B.A., and Murdock – these guys make up the alpha unit, or A-Team, that specialize in the ridiculous.  After an extremely cool 19 1/2 minute ‘opening credits’ sequence where all of the guys team up for the first time, we’re taken to 8 years later, where events lead to them being framed.  Stripped of rank in disgrace, and sentenced to prison, they promptly escape and set out to clear their names…

 

The film has great twists and turns, and I won’t spoil the great fun by telling you really anything of the actual plot here.  What I will say though is that this one is worth your money.  There is a certain intelligence to how the plot developments fit together – no matter how ridiculous they may be.  And the climactic showdown at the end, is, in a word, nothing short of amazing to watch.

 

I really liked the acting here – with Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, and Sharlto Copley (District 9), all lending their distinct and different personalities to make up this ragtag team.  Neeson is the perfect risk taking, plan making, Hannibal, Cooper works as the ‘player’ Face, Jackson as the tough B.A., and (probably my favourite here) Copley as Murdock – who certainly provides many laughs here as the (depending on who you ask) certifiably crazy chopper pilot.  He plays the part very genuinely, if you will, crazy, but not too over the top…  But, despite being eligible for the psych ward, he is a helluva pilot – unconventional, but what he does works.  I’ll also mention that the supporting cast were all good here as well.

 

I had a lot of fun with this one, and found it lived up to it’s trailers.  The score by Alan Silvestri is a fitting treat too.  This is a real classic summer action-comedy – that at only a PG can be enjoyed by about 11/12 years and up.

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The A-Team Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Based on the 1980’s TV show of the same name, The A-Team tells the story of four men who have been discharged from the army.  The four men, Col. Hannibal Smith, “Face,” Murdock, and B.A. Baracus, reunite and become the A-Team.  (The most interesting reunion happens when Murdock breaks out of a psychiatric hospital!)  When the A-Team rangers get wind of a counterfeiting operation in Baghdad, they see an opportunity to clear their names, by stopping the counterfeiting themselves.  This leads to a series of exciting chases, accusations, and ingenious heists.

 

The A-Team is nothing but pure fun.  The acting is great, the story is intelligent, and the action violence never exceeds a PG, comic book type of level.  The A-Team is a great summer blockbuster that can be enjoyed by anyone age 12 to adult.

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The A-Team Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

The A-Team is an action-packed, testosterone driven, fun adventure about four ex-military rangers out to right some wrongs, clear their names and do whatever it takes to complete their mission.

 

The movie starts off with an exciting twenty-minute escape and rescue segment before the opening credits even begin.  The action sets the tone for the entire movie.  With Lt. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) leading the way, the men are rescued by the others in increasingly daring and exciting ways.  The funniest scenes are those involving Murdock (Sharlto Copley), the psychiatric patient who flies a helicopter like a pilot with sanity issues.  The other two men, B.A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) and Faceman (Bradley Cooper) also have their own issues.  Baracus loves his van and is afraid of flying.  Faceman has a way with the ladies and has to count on his ex, Lt. Sosa (Jessica Biel) to get him out of some jams.

 

While this is very much an action driven story (tons of weapons, fights, car and helicopter crashes) there is actually an intelligent plot line involving missing engraving plates, counterfeiting operations, CIA involvement and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.

 

What makes The A-Team so much fun to watch is the comedic tone throughout.  The dialogue is witty much of the time and there are several laugh out loud scenes including my favourite – movie time at the psychiatric ward.  3D has never been so much fun.

 

Make it a plan to see The A-Team in theatres this summer.  There is no plan B.

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The A-Team Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

The A-Team is by many accounts a successful remake of the 1980s TV series, but never having watched the originals myself, I can only judge it on its own merits, which are considerable.  There is a very long (almost 20 minutes) action scene before the opening credits that establishes the team’s origins.  Chief planner “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson), often plays straight man to his eccentric colleagues; the team’s romantic interest is provided by “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper), while B. A. Baracus (the “Mister T” role) and the crazy master pilot and cook Murdock are capably portrayed by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Sharlto Copley (District 9) respectively.  The main plot is not too difficult to follow despite a number of interesting twists involving a case of stolen U.S. currency printing plates fought over by the A-Team, regular army (represented by Peck’s erstwhile girlfriend Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel), CIA agent “Lynch” ((Patrick Wilson), the contracted “Black Forest” security team led by Pike (Brian Bloom), and some mysterious “Arabs”.

At just about two hours, the film never drags, with a good balance between action and  dialogue, with a lot of unexpected and welcome humour, all handled well by a good cast.  Though fast moving, the impressive action scenes, carried out with split-second precision, are not hard to follow, and are almost believable despite the violence being kept at a comic book level.  Fine editing is largely responsible for the film’s success; for example the planning of capers intercut with their execution helps make sense of what might otherwise have been the type of “train wrecks” seen for example in Transformers 2. ___________________________________________________________________________

Consensus: The A-Team is a fun Summer blockbuster filled with explosive action sequences, good acting, quirky characters, and surprisingly intelligent twists.  For those seeking action-filled entertainment, The A-Team is a must-see. *** (Out of 4)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather Von Zuben permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:38 pm

    The Von Zuben family agrees with you that The A Team is a great movie to watch this summer. I did watch a lot of the original shows and found that this movie fit right in. I loved the humour and my boys both thought the action was great but that it was really funny.

    Like

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