Sunday, June 13, 2010

The A-Team

All I have to say is what the hell happened this weekend? I wanted to start out with, "I love it when a plan comes together, Ka-ching!" But now I'm just sort of standing in mild shock. Apparently a young Will Smith clone and a martial arts fighter once known as Jackie Chan blitzkrieged the box office with their Karate Kid movie kicking in 55 million bucks while the A-Team found itself second at 25 million. Yes, both films are rehashes of a popular 80's film and a television show, yes both are not wholly original or what one could or should consider to be cinematic masterpieces. But, only speaking for the A-Team, it's a damn fun time. The critics were pretty harsh toward the A-Team but kind to the Karate Kid, perhaps the bad reviews caused people to turn away? Maybe we live in a far more cynical world now where folks would prefer to see a ten year old child brutally beaten by bullies instead of a couple of army rangers trying to fly a tank. But if you were to ask me, having a kid of my own, I don't think I could get through the Karate Kid. So what gives? Why were families lining up to see this movie? I guess that Jaden Smith is just too damn cute for his own good. Although I would put good money that the main draw was Jackie Chan. But who the hell knows!!! Breathe deep...Ok, back to the review, I saw A-Team this weekend and I really enjoyed myself. Yes it's insane, they do things that are, more than likely, impossible to do in real life, but they did the same kind of ridiculousness and more on the show so I truly think it's in keeping with the original theme. I was pumped to see it but I was worried that the film would fall victim to the biggest flaw in the show that these crack commandos couldn't take the killshot, or worse they would miss. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this A-Team knows how to get the job done and it's a damn funny ride too.Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson) and his Ranger team; Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Bradley Cooper), Bosco "BA" Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson) and H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley) are the best at what they do. Unfortunately the team is framed while on a mission to recover some federal plates and are promptly sent to prison for the crime. They quickly escape from their maximum security prisons with a mission to clear their names and return to duty. If you've seen the show then you've heard the whole set up. They are pursued by Faceman's old flame Captain Sosa (Jessica Biel) and they are monitored by the mysterious C.I.A agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) who tends to keep his toe squarely in the gray area. The action is pretty non-stop as they guys get in and out of some pretty hairy situations. It is truly a hilarious and action packed romp that never stops. So did I mention they try to fly a tank? Yes, this is the sequence that has split reviewers and fans on whether one should go and see the film. A-Team Director Joe Carnahan pretty much explained this scene as best he could, if you watch the action in this film and you're bored then you just don't like action movies, plain and simple. This is escapist action that fits in with the great fun 80's flicks of the past like Lethal Weapon, Commando & Rambo. There is an equal amount of insanity in all of those films and that's what we love about them. The A-Team is no different and what makes it even better is the chemistry between the four guys. Sharlto Copley practically steals the movie as he gives Murdock the craziness but with some genuine heart and soul. And I was pleasantly surprised by Rampage Jackson as B.A., I really thought he was just going to try to mimic Mr. T, but he really seem to bring something a little different to the character. Bradley Cooper was pretty good as Face although I still would have preferred Ryan Reynolds on this one, but Cooper looked like he was having a good time and he really worked well with the others, so no real complaints from me. What can you say about Liam Neeson, the guy totally owns the Hannibal role, he's truly worthy and again another surprise that I was sure Bruce Willis or George Clooney could somehow play better. Liam, like his previous hit Taken, takes charge and by the end of the movie you know why they call him Hannibal. (the battle of Carthage, anyone.)So my plea to you is if you want to see a fun summer action flick that takes you on a great ride that'll have you grinning from ear to ear then I highly recommend you see the A-Team. Tell Will Smith's kid you ain't buying what he's selling! Do it Now!

"A Crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from their maximum security prisons 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 can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire....The A-Team."

Grade: 3 and a half buckets

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