Friday, June 11, 2010

The A-Team Movie Review

I'll admit that I was not a fan of the TV show "The A-Team." Too cheesy. I did like the catchy theme song and singing it for the cashier got me in the movie theater for free. Hey, it was a contest. But I wasn't expecting much with the big screen remake. Well, The A-Team movie kicks ass. I pity the fool who doesn't like this movie. Okay, enough with the catchphrases.

By the way, Mr. T, you complained that this movie is too violent and had sex, but maybe that's why the TV show was kind of lame. Firing guns can kill people. Also, Mr. T, what sex are you talking about? It's rated PG-13. Because if you consider sexy women and kissing too hot, well I pity you. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Or maybe it's because Mr. T. is jealous of Bradley Cooper (Face) who's got the body of a comic book superhero. Ladies, Cooper is the eye candy for you to go to this movie. He's shirtless more times than William Shatner was in one season of Star Trek. Translation to you non-Trekkers, it's a lot.

The A-Team opens up with a furious escape by Col. "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson) in Mexico from a corrupt general. We're introduced to each member of this American special ops team as they make their escape, Face (Bradley Cooper), "B. A." Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson) and "Howling Mad" Murdock. (Sharlto Copley) The helicopter chase scene is a wow. So the team crashes in Arizona, where the police demand to see their papers. B.A. tells them, "Do we look like a bunch of Mexicans?" Unfortunately, that's not good enough and they're arrested under Arizona's immigration law. Okay, that immigration stuff didn't happen.

We flash forward to the ending days of the Iraq war. The team is asked to take on a risky mission by CIA agent Lynch. (Patrick Wilson) The mission is to intercept the transfer of treasury plates and cash from Saddam loyalists. Hannibal's friend, General Morrison (Gerald McRaney) warns him not to take the mission. Of course, that's not going to happen. At same time, a shadowy security group know as Black Forest, (Get it? It's like Black Water) led by Pike (Brian Bloom) also go after the shipment.

The team succeeds in getting the shipment but it is blown up by Pike and Morrison is allegedly killed. The A-team is court martialed and sentenced to prison. Lynch helps the team to break out of prison. They are chased by the lovely Captain Sosa, (Jessica Biel) a former lover of Face. The team's mission for Lynch is to recover the plates and in the process, clear their names.

Writers Brian Bloom (plays Pike in the movie), Skip Woods, and director Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) strike the right balance of action, and comedy in their screenplay. I also like the fact that they didn't make the movie into a camp fest. We've already seen the stinker MacGruber. The actors all have great chemistry. This is a hell of a team. The action scenes are well filmed. They're ridiculously entertaining and are clear with the exception of my pet peeve, filming the climax at night. Additionally, for the next movie, and I hope there is another, stop intercutting Hannibal's mission briefing with the actual execution of the plan. And the use of a Gandhi quote to justify violence is sure to have him spinning in his grave. But these are minor quibbles to a great action flick. Director Carnahan boldly told Entertainment Weekly (4-23, pg. 66) "There's an action sequence in the film and if you don't like it, you don't like movies." I'm going to assume that's the scene where the team escapes in a C-130 transport plane and are hunted by Predator drones. They are shot down by the drones only to bail out in a tank! You want to know something? He's right.

The A-Team is the first live action summer movie that's fun. It's a wild ride that you'll want to go on again and again. And yes, I did see it twice. The critics may be split. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 52 % rating but this is a movie that is a true guilty pleasure. The grade for the movie is A, of course.

Geek Alert! First, if you pay close attention during the scene where the team breaks out Murdock from a mental hospital, watch the 3-D movie used to distract the patients. It's a take off of the A-Team show but look at the credits of who is starring in it. One credit says Reginald Barclay. That's a Star Trek: The Next Generation character portrayed by Dwight Schultz, the original Murdock in the TV series. Ha, ha. And stay past the end credits for some funny cameos.

No comments: