DIR: Joe Carnahan • WRI: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods • PRO: Stephen J. Cannell, Jules Daly, Tony Scott, Spike Seldin, Iain Smith, Alex Young • DOP: Mauro Fiore • ED: Roger Barton, Jim May • DES: Charles Wood • CAST: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson
This is a sprawling mess of a movie obviously mashed together by dazed troglodytes under a bridge. What’s the point of it all? Surely there are better ideas for the action movie genre than merely rehashing an old TV series. And why does the fact that working with an established set of characters make it acceptable to produce a script that has all the imagination of a pig’s trough?
The A-Team tells the story of 4 lovable mercenary rogues who are trying to clear their names after being wrongfully imprisoned of stuff. The ’80s TV characters are brought to a cinema screen near you by 4 lovable rogues who are now trying to clear their names after being wrongfully attached to this pointless nonsense. Liam Neeson plays George Peppard’s Hannibal (Colonel) taking every opportunity to tell us that he derives much pleasure from the completion of a plan. Mr T’s BA Baracus (Lieutenant) is played by Quinton Jackson who has no time for dullards. Bradley Cooper is Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck (Lieutenant) wooing ladies with his leery grin and coiffed thatch, and Dwight Schultz’s endearing non compos ‘Howling Mad’ Murdoch (lunatic pilot) is played by Sharlto Copley repeatedly demonstrating the fact that he’s several pages short of a script. Once these lovable rogues have established themselves as the A-Team, they are allowed to get on with the matter in hand; that being lepping about the shop roaring at each other and waving a variety of ammunition at baddies.
There’s really nothing to say about the performances in the film except that poor Neeson looks like he’s completely lost after taking a wrong turn and found himself in the cooking pot of a hungry native tribe. All the characters merely exist to facilitate the crash, bang, wallops of the action scenes, interspersed with some ridiculous dialogue. Manure shovellor/director Joe Carnahan serves up such sequences in the manner of prison slop, incessantly throwing them with neither thought nor care at the screen. The film hasn’t got the brains to be an ironic pastiche of the’80s TV series and hasn’t got the guts to breathe any sort of new life into it. The A-Team is spineless filmmaking bereft of ideas. The pedestrian action sequences, bad CGI and poor editing coupled with the puerile dialogue and ridiculous plot (not to mention BA’s anti-Ghandi subplot) make for one of the most irritating cinema experiences this year.
I can’t wait for the film version of Simon & Simon.
So rather than waste your money going to see The A Team, why not get your hands on the boxset of the original series – hell, even Boy George pops up in one episode. Now repeat after me: ‘In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.’