Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: The A-Team

I'm not really sure if the classic 80's action TV series The A-Team needed to be remade into a 2010 popcorn action flick. Nowadays with the way Hollywood seems to crave remaking just about anything, I'm pretty sure NONE of these new remakes are necessary at all. That being said, Joe Carnahan and his producing team of Tony and Ridley Scott decided to give it a try and update the story of four ex-military vigilantes, super-sizing the scope of the TV show and updating all of the stunts.

This movie felt a lot like Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice (with Jaime Foxx and Colin Farrell) for me. Vice came off well as a stand-alone action film with well timed stunts and set pieces that seemed to ooze coolness on the screen. The A-Team has the same sort of cool feel to it. The four team members were all cast spot-on including Liam Neeson as Hannibal Smith, Bradley Cooper as Face Peck, Quentin "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Baracus and Sharlto Copley as "Howling Mad" Murdock. Each of the four actors does a solid job in portraying the individual nuances of the original TV characters while bringing a bit of originality to the role. Copley stands out for me as I was a huge fan of his work in District 9 (I believe this now marks over 10 posts on my blog that mention the excellent South African sci fi film). It's kind of odd to see him go in and out of various accents throughout the movie, but that's what makes Murdock "Howling Mad" I suppose.

Rampage Jackson (who fights in the UFC during his day job) is very serviceable in Mr. T's role. I mean he's probably a better actor than Mr. T himself (that's not saying much of course). Jackson seems to be a natural at pitying fools and I'm curious to see if he can act at all in a different role.

This movie doesn't do anything revolutionary. What you get here is a standard buddy-buddy-buddy-buddy action film with some kick-ass stunts, great sound and a stunning Jessica Biel mixed in. It's the quintessential guy movie and I'm sure most Americans ages 18 to 40 will enjoy it. At two hours, it seemed to go by quickly which is a testament to the good pacing and direction of Carnahan. Overall I'd have to give this A-Team remake a 3.5 out of 5 JRs. I'm intrigued to see if an A-Team sequel is in the works. I'd have to hope that it comes off better than Iron Man 2 did.

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