Saturday, June 19, 2010

"The A-Team" - in theaters

I believe that I'm too young to have been a fan of the TV show "The A-Team", but I did know that Mr. T played B.A. Baracus, and that pretty much sold me on the idea of a film version. I mean, anything involving Mr. T has to be great, right? (Please note the sarcasm...)

I don't know how much this film complemented it's television predecessor, but I will say that it was one heck of a fun ride.

You meet the first of the A-Team in a dilapidated warehouse in the middle of Mexico. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) is handcuffed to a chair, getting the snot kicked out of him. He's in Mexico to rescue his comrade, Face (i.e. Bradley Cooper) who recklessly went after a Mexican general on his own. After Smith escapes the handcuffed chair (and why wouldn't he?), he runs into B.A. Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson), basically carjacks him, rescues Face, then goes to a mental hospital to spring Murdock (Sharlto Copley), an insane pilot. And thus, the four become a team.

Fast forward 8 years, and they're all in Iraq in the last days of the occupation. Suddenly, they get a mission that everyone is telling them not to do, but non-verbally telling them to do it. So they do, then get framed for murder and sent to jail. With the help of Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) of the CIA, they bust out in pursuit of vengeance. And this is all within the first 45 minutes.

Needless to say that this movie is filled with action, most of which is pretty spectacular. The only time when I was sort of "meh" about the effects was during the L.A. dock scene that concerned all of the steel cartons. If you see the film, you'll know what I'm talking about.

But even more than the action, I really appreciated the characters. I thought they were all done very well. Liam Neeson is a totally believable action hero, with his cigar and croaky voice. Bradley Cooper was all sorts of tan and very muscular, with a penchant for not wearing his shirt. He was also cocky as hell, and had some of the best lines. Jackson was tough, and I really wouldn't want to cross him, but he's also vulnerable, being very open about his fear of flying. And Sharlto Copley was hysterically funny as a mostly sane man with slightly insane flying techniques.

The only character that I could have done without was Jessica Biel's character. She was purely one-dimensional and peripheral, and whose only purpose seemed to be to give Face some romantic credibility.

So on the CWeave scale, I rate this movie an 8. Good action, lots of laughs, and a shirtless Bradley Cooper. And that's really all I need in my life.

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