The A-Team – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Dec 15, 2010, 12:59 GMT
Buckle up for an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride starring Liam Neeson (Taken), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (UFC Star), and Sharlto Copley (District 9). Convicted by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, a daring team of former Special Forces soldiers must utilize their unique talents to break out of prison and tackle their toughest mission yet. It’s going to take guts, split-second timing and an arsenal ...more
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team… but do you want to watch their big screen incarnation? Maybe, but those with fond memories of the television show might be harder on the film than others.
John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson) and Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper) are on a mission south of the border. In the midst of their mission they recruit B.A. Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) and are flown out of Mexico by mental patient “Howling Mad” Murdoch (Sharlto Copley).
The newfound companions form a successful combat unit. “Eight years and eighty successful missions later,” the group is in Iraq when they’re approached by CIA agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) to go on a mission to steal some counterfeit currency printing plates from the falling government who is ferrying them out of Baghdad.
Captain Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel) warns her former lover “Face” that the team shouldn’t go on the mission, but General Morrison (Gerald McRaney), the camp’s commanding officer and Hannibal’s friend, gives his blessing to the secret mission. They successfully recover the plates, but when they go to make the delivery Morrison he is killed and the plates are stole by contractor Blackwater, led by Brock Pike (Brian Bloom).
The team is framed for the theft of the plates and murder of Morrison - since he was the only one who knew about their mission. They’re all incarcerated, but Hannibal is visited in prison by Lynch who wants the team to break out and get the plates from Pike and a mysterious Arab backer. I love it when a plan comes together.
However, does it really come together? That may be debatable, especially if you’re a big fan of the show. The makers of the movie take an iconic image from the show and do some harm to it in the big Mexico mission opener. It seemed to be saying forget that show to me and that probably won’t set well with those fans.
I can recall when the late Stephen J. Cannell’s creation first appeared and it was an event. Not that I got to see it when it premiered since it was later than my bedtime, but my brother and I could hear that iconic theme song through the wall.
By the time we actually got to see the show it may not have lived up to the mental hype that we had in mind for it. A team of mercenaries that helped out the helpless with their particular skills was the show’s theme. The movie is a big action extravaganza so don’t expect them to help out nunneries and orphanages (maybe in a sequel?).
Neeson is gruff gusto in his portrayal of Hannibal, Cooper is handsome, slick, charm as Face, Jackson may be pitied for trying to channel Mr. T but isn’t a fool for trying, and Copley is mad fun jumping all over the place.
Those intimate missions for the little people is replaced by a big plot jump for some plates and a clean slate that sets up some gigantic action scenes, from a “flying tank” escape to a big turnabout action finale. I had a good time and my kid’s cheered when B.A., who had developed a more peaceful countenance in his prison term and didn’t have his distinctive Mohawk, comes back around to his more familiar look.
It’s pure popcorn fun, but if you worshipped the old show you may not like that they do with this new incarnation. If you’re willing to turn off your brain then you might get swept up in it.
The A-Team is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. You also get the theatrical cut (119 minutes) and an unrated extended cut (133 minutes). Special features include a commentary from director Joe Carnahan on the theatrical cut, a 1 minute “A-Team Theme Mashup Montage,” and the 2 minute theatrical trailer.
The A-Team is blustery fun, but perhaps has an overcomplicated plot. Some may see some disdain for the original show (the two cameos are relegated to after the credits in the theatrical cut) but this re-imagining does have high action content and likeable performances if you’re willing to give it a chance.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CBradley Cooper Biography -
Bradley Cooper Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesLiam Neeson Biography -
Liam Neeson Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesQuinton Jackson Biography - Sharlto Copley Biography -
Sharlto Copley Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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