« 'Marmaduke' rolls over, plays dead | Main | 'Karate Kid' kicks into entertainment overdrive »


'The A-Team': On the rogue again

Welcome to '80s Reboot Week at your neighborhood movie house.

Film-goers might just feel like they're in a time warp as they stroll multiplex hallways and see the re-imagined "Karate Kid" in one theater and a reconfigured "A-Team" in another.

It should surprise no one that "The A-Team" is a B-movie.

The campy TV action series that occupied NBC prime time from 1983 to 1987 provided an action fix, not logic.  The redux tones down the campy nature a little.  You'll never hear B.A., Mr. T's old character, growl, "I pity the fool," for instance.  Audiences are more sophisticated these days, according to the "A-Team" words of wisdom spun in the film's press notes.

This time we get nuance, if you'd like to call it that.  The first time B.A. batters bad guys with his fists, we notice the word "Pity" tattooed on the fingers of one hand and -- don't get ahead of me -- "Fool" on the other.

Mixed martial artist Quinton "Rampage" Jackson steps in as B.A., the A-Team wheel man who's in the wrong line of work to have a serious fear of flying.  At the center, though, is Liam Neeson as cigar-chomping leader and tactician Col.  John "Hannibal" Smith (the George Peppard role).  

Rising star Bradley Cooper ("The Hangover," "All About Steve") is Face, designated ladies man and sm-o-o-o-th talker.  Sharlto Copley, who sprang to the forefront from nowhere as Wikus in last year's "District 9," steps into the role of crazed-genius pilot "Howlin' Mad" Murdock.

Co-stars include excellent actor Patrick Wilson ("Watchmen") as mysterious CIA weasel Lynch, Jessica Biel ("The Illusionist") as Capt. Sosa, a former love of Face's, and somewhat laughable lines like this:

Face to Capt. Sosa during a heated confrontation:  "I forgot how beautiful you are."

"The A-Team," lensed north of the border with the Vancouver area of Canada doubling for Mexico, Baghdad, Germany, Los Angeles and other locales, rattles the theater speakers and singes the screen with plenty of fast-paced adrenalin-pumping explosions and near-cartoon-like action.

These special ops experts survived combat in Middle East conflicts.   The '80s quartet cut their teeth on napalm and treachery of the Vietnam War era.  Both sets of misunderstood soldiers of fortune were wrongly accused of walking off with war booty (robbing the Bank of Hanoi on TV/ stealing $100-bill U.S. currency plates from Baghdad in the current skirmish).

Director Joe Carnahan ("Smokin' Aces," "Narc") co-wrote this screenplay with actor/writer Brian Bloom (who plays Black Ops leader Pike) and Skip Woods, who co-wrote "X-Men Origins:  Wolverine" and penned the sly action-crime saga "Swordfish."  

There's just a hint of retro in this adventure that culminates in a big, explosive finish at the L.A. harbor.  Anyone who saw "MacGruber" recently might have slight "MacGyver" flashbacks.  The "A-Team" is plenty adept at warrior arts and crafts at a moment's notice and at grabbing odds and ends for parts to homemade weapons of mass destruction.

Quickly forgettable, "The A-Team" is like a carnival ride that briefly thrills and is fun, but won't linger long in the brain.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'The A-Team': On the rogue again:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.