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  A-Team, The Tell Us About The Plan Again
Year: 2010
Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson, Gerald McRaney, Henry Czerny, Yul Vazquez, Brian Bloom, Maury Sterling, Terry Chen, Omari Hardwick, David Hugghins, Jacob Blair, John Hamm
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: A couple of Mexican gang members are torturing an American, not knowing the trouble they are getting into. They soon find out when they set their dogs on him and he overpowers the hounds with ease, because he's not going to stick around when there's someone to be rescued: someone like his good friend who was on the mission with him but is now trapped in a stack of tyres with a noose around his neck. If only there was a vehicle they could get away in, something like a black and red van for example - and a pilot would be good, too...

If you hadn't guessed by now, this was what was best termed a plan coming together, which you were supposed to love as much as the leader, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), but in effect things didn't turn out that way. The big screen remake of eighties TV series The A-Team wasn't exactly a massive disaster, but it didn't set the box office alight either, and in spite of a number of enthusiasts clamouring for a whole franchise of these with this cast, it did not happen. They might have seen something worth watching here, but if it was not a plodding yawnfest, neither was it much inspired to fresh heights of cinematic innovation.

But who needed that when it was The A-Team they were remaking, right? The source was essentially the same plot every week, with not even the jokes enjoying much variation as our four heroes (and token woman) went through the motions of saving some village from violent developers or a rogue militia whatever, firing off bullets and blowing stuff up like there was no tomorrow, with very few people getting killed in the process. Certainly Mr. T, who played the original B.A. Baracus, was not impressed with this update, as according to him they should have left this with no one dying, and he didn't like that his character ended up killing his enemies.

Bad for the tough but fair family image he liked to cultivate, you see, though his surviving castmates, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz, had fewer qualms and showed up for a winking cameo each after the end credits. Their new incarnations were then-man of the moment Bradley Cooper as Face, and Sharlto Copley as Murdoch, who was supposedly crazy but didn't do anything anywhere near as entertaining as the bit in the series when Schultz got hold of a teddy bear and announced "It's the Bogey the Bear Show! I'm Bogey the Bear and I'm covered with hair!" A glaring omission, you'll be forced to agree, not to mention the lack of Cylon walk-ons or alligator costumes.

So what was there? A lot of convoluted shenanigans involving what amounted to an origin story much beloved of all those would-be blockbuster reboots, here with ver Team not Vietnam veterans anymore but Iraq war veterans, acting out what amounted to a short narration in the classic opening titles first time around, but made up the whole middle section of the movie. That's after we got through this effort's title sequence which stretched through a whole twenty minutes as if they were reluctant to admit that we were able to grasp the concept as quickly as we would with an actual episode (how hard is it to get?). Much as director Joe Carnahan and his writers tried to inject a fresh tone to this, they finally gave up and went back to plans coming together, with Jessica Biel as the token female making little impression, B.A. (Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson) grinning too much, everyone just that touch too smug to truly admire. In short, it was about as good as it could have been, based on strictly production line material in the first place, no matter the nostalgia that surrounds it. Music by Alan Silvestri.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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