The A-Team (Contains Spoilers)

I have to start this by saying, straight away, that at first I was totally against this film. I thought that re-making anything from TV into a film that’s anything less than Star Trek just wouldn’t work and would wind up being a poor example of film-making and un-original scripts. Then I started hearing more about it, and seeing more about it, and how it was being reworked to be modern and new and fresh. And I STILL thought that it would be a bad idea, but one that the general masses might mindlessly go in their droves and see, thusly meaning they make back their budget spent on production. Then I started seeing trailers for it and thought “Ok, maybe this could be a bit of fun…”.

So when I decided that I’d give it a go and see it, I found that it actually wasn’t too bad, but it’s also exactly what it seems – its fun, its big and bombastic, and you don’t have to think too much whilst you’re watching it. Which is good, because it’s not setting out to be much more than that anyway. Why would it, it IS the remake of The A-Team, and that wasn’t the most thought-provoking series in the world. So in that sense, it’s actually a very loyal re-imagining!

What The A-Team essentially gives you is 2 hours worth of pretty hollow entertainment. Now, “hollow entertainment” isn’t always a bad thing – even the most snobby of film-goers will likely have a couple of them in his DVD cabinet for the odd occasion they just want to watch something you don’t have to have your brain turned on for. And that’s why these kinds of films are good, because for that time you can forget what other things are going on in the world and be with Hannibal, Face, Murdock and BA for a bit. Despite being a bit brainless, they are still popular and there’s no denying that, so its healthy to see one or two every so often. And The A-Team is probably a pretty good bet if you want the guilt-free feeling of seeing something at least a bit grounded in some sort of culture!

One of the few things that I didn’t like about The A-Team was that they felt the need to explain how they all came together in the beginning, which gave it the feeling of being an “origins movie”. Which, in my experience, are never really a good thing unless they get that part over with pretty quickly. The fact that they all met each other partly by chance didn’t sit too well for me, and neither did that for the first 15 minutes of the film there were a few too many close-ups of Liam Neeson being Hannibal Smith, as if they really wanted you to know who he was! Also, the fact that B.A. Baracus (played in this by former UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) has kicked the asses of several guys for no apparent reason before you even see his face seemed a little bit out-of-place and perspective, but its all over as quickly as it started and moves on to other things. Sharlto Copley does, quite frankly, a fantastic job as Murdock – he’s crazy in all the right places, gets pretty much all the laughs throughout the film, and does so many different dialects its insane. In fact, his part is beaten only by Bradley Cooper being Lt. Faceman “Face” Peck, which was brilliant, if a little obvious, casting as this is the perfect kind of role for him to play and he does it brilliantly.

The storyline of the film was, for the most part, only a little grating as it felt like a majority of the storyline felt like the exposition you normally get right at the start of the film before everything else moves along. It felt like most of the film was building towards something that only happened 20 minutes from the end, which I didn’t like as it should all have been dealt with a bit sooner and they probably could have achieved this if they had been able to step right into the team all being together instead of having them all meet at the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, this does mean we get to see Murdock barrel-rolling a helicopter and dropping a vent onto B.A.’s truck, but that surely all could have been worked into the film somewhere else too. But it all does build towards something, so it is sort of like a plan coming together in the end as Hannibal says, so maybe that’s why?

Apart from all of the set-up throughout most of the film, the action is a lot of fun and the character interactions are hilarious, even at the end when all of the explosions get a little TOO ridiculous and yet everyone still manages to live through it (except for the henchmen, obviously!). However, for all the fun and action and comedy you are getting, it’s not hard to forget you are still watching something just a little hollow, and as such it does suffer from something called “Take-Away Syndrome” – you have plenty of fun whilst you’re there with it, but an hour later and you’ll have pretty much forgotten about it. That doesn’t mean it’s not any good, in fact I really did enjoy The A-Team – it’s just not the kind of film you finish watching and spend hours thinking about afterwards.

As such, I’m happily giving The A-Team a 7 out of 10 for all the fun and explosions, and the ability to switch your brain off for a while, but not for being anything much more than that. Definitely worth going to see if you watched the original series or just want something to chill out and watch.


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