THE PLOT THUS FAR
A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
The A-Team is a theatrical remake of the classic 80’s TV series of the same name. The film starts with a lengthy pre-credits sequence introducing us to the four heroes of the film. We meet Hannibal, played by Neeson, who escape from captivity without even breaking a sweat, he was being held there by a corrupt General. Next we see Faceman (Cooper), who is being held in a stack of tires for sleeping with the general’s wife, about to be brutally killed. We then see Hannibal encounter B.A. Barucus (Jackson) and convinces him to drive to the General’s ranch to rescue his friend. Barucus agrees after the two find out they both served time in the army. Later on, the three men go to a hospital and recruit the insane pilot Murdock. These four actors are all perfect for their roles in my honest opinion, and this opening scene makes that very clear.
The reincarnation by the hands of Carnahan however, avoids many of the pitfalls that the outdated format has to offer. For one, the director has brought the well known premise of the series to the present. Vietnam has been replaced by Iraq and the bad attitude of Bosco Baracus is not the only thing that makes the foursome dangerous: the happy-go-lucky stance of a team that rarely asked for enemy casualties has been replaced by an attitude that better suits a group of elite soldiers. What is especially striking is how well the cast handle their roles, and how much fun they have doing so. Understandable, since the characters in Carnahan’s installment have been blown up as well. Hannibal in the hands of Liam Neeson, although not as charismatic as George Peppard, is equally complacently on the jazz whenever a dangerous situation can be even remotely relished. Templeton “Faceman” Peck in the version of Bradley Cooper enjoys the swindling of both women and all sorts of tools even more than his predecessor Dirk Benedict and the script provides Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with a philosophical depth to his distinctive character – and evolution thereof – in the BA 2.0 version.
If you are at all familiar with the director Joe Carnahan’s previous films, you may be aware of his style for inter-weaving characters, but all of whom have the same goal in mind. It became a little frustrating at times to decipher who was betraying whom in this movie, but its all in good fun, and helps to disguise the final outcome. There are a few scenes in the film that play out like deleted out-takes inserted at the last minute to try and add a bit of depth, especially with B.A. and his struggle for inner peace with all the violence around him, or Hannibal & B.A.’s chance encounter in Mexico at the beginning of the film. The part that worked for me was that every member of the A-Team seemed to be cast perfectly. No doubt almost any review will tell you, Sharlto Coopley by far steals the show as “Howling Mad” Murdoch. Quintin “Rampage” Jackson is the other surprise of the film. As someone who is always nervous when it comes to attempting a cross-over, such as Ludicrous or 50 Cent, I can say that Jackson was by far the best choice to fill the shoes of Bosco “Bad Attitude” Baracus.
The Blu-Ray sports the theatrical and unrated cuts of the movie. Plus, you get a digital copy for mobile use. Joe Carnahan takes us through the action on the theatrical cut, while the rest of the featurettes are basic material that shows off FX and various character choices. The only real fun starts with the deleted scenes and gag reel. Sharlto Copley never gets the chance he deserves to shine, which is sad. That’s not to say that he didn’t have moments throughout the film, it’s just that he was so nuts. He needed more moments of grilling with anti-freeze. For those that were curious, you do get a featurette that’s dedicated to creating mash-ups of the main theme. If you ever were a fan, I’d recommend a must-have purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!