delivered a WILD RIDE!
(11 June 2010) 117 min.
Director: Joe Carnahan
Written by Joe Carnahan, Brian
Bloom, and Skip Woods
is for a big, satisfying Aaaaaaah! The A-TEAM
delivered Action with a capital "A". It reminded me a
little of G. I. Joe because while it was great that the action
was over-the-top incredible, they threw it at you at dizzying
speeds. A little less hectic would have been a lot more enjoyable,
but the opening really 'hit the spot'. It was very cool that they
showed how the characters met, let "X" number of years pass (the TV
episodes), and then cut to their current adventure in a short amount
of time. There the speed worked (plot wise). It helped
if you saw the show, but the characters were well cast and still
quirky enough that it didn't matter if you didn't. Conveying the "A" Team
feeling and dynamic perfectly, the intro. was like an amuse bouche of
action. Never thought I would use that phrase to describe anything in an
action movie, but I went hungry for the action movie experience, and
the A-Team intro was the perfect bite! A mini movie on its
own; a taste of more good things to come. AMF=Action Movie Freak? Yes, but No . . . "Alpha Mike Foxtrot, Adios Mother
The best part of the "A" Team was the crazy
machismo, which is the biggest part of why I love action movies.
Wise-cracking adrenaline junkies with no fear
of death ("I'm looking for my next near-death experience" says Murdoch), they
jumped right in with both feet. You expected that in the intro., but
they kept up the pace with a follow-up heist so complicated, it
could be a normal movie in and of itself. As they explain the
they are doing it (cutting back and forth between the
set-up/explanation and the live action). You can't believe the
movie is this exciting this quickly, and you wonder if they can sustain
it. They can. There are tons of cheesy one liners and epic
moments. I loved when they were
taking off in the C-130 and they play chicken with a car. Chicken
sounds like something you've seen before, but you don't realize how
intense the scene is until B.A. says "The
C-130 versus Mercedes Benz" and you're thinking "No shit!
"Wow!" Then, "MOooVE!!"
Most of the characters were played equally well and they seemed 'all grown up' in this thankfully less campy version of the TV show. A fan of the original show, I can't help but make comparisons, so here we go:
John "Hannibal" Smith
Liam Neeson's deep voice,
stature, physique, and air of competence delivered an in-charge
performance of Hannibal that was flawlessly believable. JUST what
the part needed to suspend the disbelief in pulling off his
incredible plans. George Peppard
as Hannibal was good looking and confident but didn't seem military
enough (brains but no brawn). Neeson looks like he could as easily
snap your back as shake your hand. (Maybe this bad-ass performance
will get him respect as an action star, and Stallone will put him in
For me, it made him not only an action star, but an Action Figure.
Big praise for a man his age! I added him to my
list for this performance, and for
which EVERYONE noticed he rocked the house in. I guess until
this movie, I thought of him as an actor. Now I realize he's always
been a bad ass!
"Howling Mad" Murdock
This character brings so much fun to
the action. Sharlto Copely didn't over do it. He was just the right
amount of crazy. The idea that the pilot would be so skilled and
borderline nuts makes for some hairy flying and a hilarious point
of view. He delivers some of the best lines in the movie.
Sgt. Bosco "B.A." (Bad Attitude) Baracus
Quinton Johnson's performance left me feeling fond of B.A., but he's in a mighty big
shadow. Mr. T. dominated, not just the show, but popular
culture! They had a little fun with B.A. in this movie, but he was
too loveable. His bad attitude consisted mainly of getting angry if
anyone messed with his
van, and an (understandable) newly acquired fear of flying. Maybe
they stayed away from too much the "Pity the Fool" bravado because it
would have seemed like a bad impression. However,
Quinton "Rampage" Johnson's B.A. lacked that
look-out-when-they-let-him-loose-on-somebody feeling. Too much
Quinton and not enough Rampage. He really looked the part and was
really good in it. I would have to say he made it his own, but I
think it's just that we didn't see enough of him being B.A.—leaves
me hoping he has more of an action part in the next movie . . . I
guess I expected him to be the star of this movie, but it looks like
it's a toss up between Face and Lynch.
Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck (aka "Face")
While the characters/cast complemented each other and seemed
to have fairly equal screen time, Face might have had a little more, but then it might
just have seemed that way 'cause he's Face. Props to Bradley
Cooper for 'bringing it'. He took the Face role to new heights
(or depths? LOL). Maybe this was because in our culture 'Face' has
evolved into 'Body'. Think I'm off? Look at "The Jersey Shore's"
"The Situation." An ugly face on a buff body and suddenly he's
handsome, and with attitude it's assumed he has 'game'? Game is the
new Charm. I loved Face's twist on this:
"It's not who you know, it's how you know them."
It really isn't about a handsome face and charm anymore (Charm
required manners and some intelligence to be Smooth). Now it's about
Attitude (which, when applied to women goes hand in hand with a lack
of manners, bravado, and stupidity) and Game—Don't get me started.
There used to be some seduction involved on their part, now it's
more like an audition on yours. The Face of yesterday worked his
charm and the ladies swooned. Today's Face expects them to just fall
at his feet when he takes off his shirt and acts like he's too good
for them. To borrow a line from Pitbull "I know you want me. You
know I wantcha." Sadly, it really has become that simple. But
I digress, back to the character . . . There was some chemistry
between Face and Sosa (Jessica Beal, above), but I think they could
have set it up a little better in the beginning. Her role
was so small, it could have been any good-looking actress, but it
was nice to see them down-playing her looks.
Dirk Benedict's Face was very "Sharp-Dressed Man", and he was
always over dressed. Bradley Cooper's Face is handsome enough, but it's
more about how handsome he thinks he is.
There's no shortage of shirtless screen time for Cooper, and he has
the pecs and abs for the role. There is a little of the old
Face when Cooper works his idea of some old-fashioned charm
(bullshit), using his foreign language skills and invasion of
personal space on a female French reporter. This scene is a little
ridiculous but Cooper pulls it off, acting/entertainment wise. It's
the no-means-yes scenario as she lets him kiss her then slaps him,
so he goes in for another kiss. Again, don't get me started. There
is quite a bit of sexism in the movie, but at the same time the
female lead is powerful and intelligent and they don't objectify her
(Face does, but, again, he's Face). CIA Agent Lynch's assistant interrupts
another CIA Agent to speak to Lynch, and the Agent snaps at her
"I was talking" She comes back with "Can you stop?"
Overall, I loved the character and Cooper's
portrayal of him, although he seemed a little ultra hyper at times,
as did the movie, almost like the editors were on coke mixed with
too much speed, which brings us to . . .
CIA Rogue Agent "Lynch"
Wilson's performance stole the show. He played the weasel with just
the right amount of overacting. He really thinks he's a bad ass
(he's not). In
the scene where he and his men blow through a security checkpoint,
flashing guns and badges, you can't help but love it when he says
"Yes we have weapons. No you may not wand us." This kind
of movie needs a bad guy you love to hate, and between Lynch's
pseudo machismo and Agent Pike's certifiable lunacy, it
satisfies. The plate retrieval scene was a little MI:3, a
Matrix, in all its high-rise-glass-smashing glory. And
that was only the beginning. The be-all end-all of heists goes
down on such a huge scale, it's hard to describe. Without spoiling
it, let's just say that the cargo containers look like crayons.
Only in warfare, can one imagine so much fun with a cannon. At one
point Pike's eyes are so crazed, it made me wonder if he was on
drugs, and brought to mind the pity-me face on the cat from
The A-Team more than satisfied my Action Movie
freakiness! I enjoyed it so
much I saw it twice!!