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The A-Team (2010)


While the show that inspired this feature film never became a part of my “TV on DVD” viewing, the trailers for the big-screen update did look comical, so with hopes to enjoy a night of laughter, I saw this one on its first week to DVD. Basically it was worth it.

Rangers in the U.S. Army share a kind of “brotherhood.” That is what Col. John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson) is counting on when, unbeknownst to him, he hijacks another ranger’s van in order to save his comrade. Having just escaped custody of his captors, Hannibal isn’t too thrilled at the idea that he now must run headfirst into danger… again. But that is exactly what he and his new recruit (Quinton Jackson) do. Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper) has found himself in a bit of a bind when he was caught in… a compromising position earning the ire of a high-ranking Mexican official, and now drenched in lighter fluid, all Face can do is try to talk himself out of the situation. In a desperate attempt to dodge the men hot on their trail, the three pick up a psyche ward patient who is their ticket to freedom – Ranger pilot, Captain Murdock (Sharlto Copley). And with that, the elite “A-Team” is formed.

Months later the men of The A-Team hear of a mission that at all costs needs to be stopped, in spite of their CO (Gerald McRaney) asking them to sit this mission out. Regardless, they make preparations with no “plan b” and set out to accomplish it. When it goes horribly wrong, the Iraqi war vets are accused of crimes they were set up for. Adding into the mix is Face’s ex-girlfriend, Lt. Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel), and a high-ranking CSI agent (Patrick Wilson).

A way to “kill” a couple hours has never looked so fun as it does in this blockbuster. This happens to be one of the most entertaining popcorn flicks … and believe me, with so many details to the plot, there isn’t a dull moment. If there is one thing that I am not particularly fond of was the way that each of the four or five main characters were introduced. It was harried and unexplained so that as viewers, it was never fully explained as to just what we were meant to be seeing. Perhaps this can be tied to my unfamiliar footing with the original show. Still, considering the sort of movie this turns out to be, somehow, all is quickly forgiven. The plot is actually clever enough to hold interest without being an insult to anyone’s intelligence – most especially when compared to some of its counterparts. Often times, the action sequences do tend to be overwhelming and in that sometimes, the film looses its footing because chaos rules the better parts of the plot as do extended sequences of chaos that leaves us wondering of its point. Most the time, the stunts and/or schemes characters concoct are so unrealistic that they could only come from the streets of Hollywood… that is the case here, but it didn’t matter because they were ingenious (in a blow your mind kind of way) and I was having too much fun to care.

Setting aside my surprise at how hard it was to get into this, it’s the entertaining shenanigans are what make the story so likable and by seeing the wacky, but interesting ways these guys go in order to complete their missions; mishaps, shouting, and hilarity always ensues. They go from breaking out of prison (in a tanning machine, no less) to riding in a tanker… as a flying contraption! Because of all the loud bangs and… well, loudness, dialogue tends to be a tad muffled, which proves to be slightly annoying when finding yourself straining to hear conversations. For the first ten to fifteen minutes much of the dialogue is also translated to screen in subtitles because it is in Spanish – since the print is small and not the best color that can be strenuous to keep up with. Casting directors assembled a really wonderful cast who does a fantastic job even in a movie that was clearly made for some laughs.

If I had to say, I think I’d recommend this – provided you’re a fan of the genre. Like I’ve mentioned, the show is not a part of my repertoire but I’ve heard that it pays homage to its eighties counterpart. Physically, the cast suits their predecessors well, and if you let the credits play, there is a fun cameo. Tongue-and-cheek humor is what makes the majority of the settings so hilarious, and memorable. Setting itself up nicely for a sequel should it ever come about, but closed enough in its primary story, this is one entertaining flick that deserves another viewing – even if only just to “get” all the confusing bits and pieces.

(Yeah, I’ll keep telling myself that is the only reason for another viewing.)

(There are dozens of gunfights in which characters get “slapped” around, shot at and/or threatened. There are two explosions. Machine weapons are pulled out without thought, planes explode in the air. S**t, d**m and numerous other profanities are exclaimed; even two near uses of “mother f…” is expressed. Some mild sexual innuendo plays into the script. [Face apparently had fling with a married woman.] Also there are two crude “finger” gestures. The film is rated PG13.)
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10 comments:

  1. I watched a lot of the TV show way before the movie, so I was familiar with the plot and characters when I watched the film. I was actually disappointed in this one. They didn't really stay entirely true to the TV show and their discrepancies turned me off.

    I'm glad you liked it though! The movie did have its moments of humor.

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    1. Really!? That's neat, Rosie! My family watches several of the old classic shows but this isn't one of them.

      Sorry you didn't love the film but I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. It can be hard when you have come to love one version of something and then see it done a different way. :)

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  2. I enjoyed this one quite a bit when I watched it a month or two ago! I especially liked Liam Neeson...he has the most amazing voice. I love how he does Aslan in Narnia! And...this is semi-unrelated...but I think he should have been the dragon in the Merlin TV show. Have you seen that? I've been watching it lately. It's free on Hulu. I'm just on Season 1, but enjoying it so much! :)

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    1. Liam Neeson is FANTASTIC, Charity! Have you seen many of his other movies? He commands the role of Aslan because of that distinct voice - and you make an excellent suggestion: He should have been the dragon! Merlin is one of my fave BBC shows. Sadly it is now coming to an end but am glad to hear you are enjoying it also - there's some good stuff coming up for you yet. And that you liked 'A-Team.' The humor is great. :)

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    2. Just realized I want to reply to this. ;) Nope, hadn't seen Liam Neeson in anything else, though I hear "Taken" is good? Someday. And I have the Les Mis now that he stars in, hopefully will be watching in a week or two. Excited about that!

      Omw, I was/am so in love with Merlin. The show. I ended up watching all four seasons on Hulu, but they don't have #5 yet...so I'm eagerly waiting.

      Have you seen the old A-Team TV show from the 80s? Hulu has something like 90 episodes of it for free, so I've started watching those. The clothes and hair and vehicles...all hilarious! I was born in the 90s, so all this 80s stuff is a little before my time...I have a great time laughing and groaning over it. But I do enjoy the action! And the music. And of course... "I love it when a plan comes together." I say that all the time now. Hannibal is awesome!

      Okay, off to do school. Again, review! :) So glad we connected, Rissi. I do enjoy your blog muchly! :)

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    3. Oh, goodness, Taken is wonderfully good, Charity. The sequel is also good but the first is the best since it's such a lovely father-daughter relationship - something you might not expect from an action thriller. Enjoy Les Mis - that one is the bestest IMO. :)

      Don't think S5 of Merlin is quite out yet. Just around the corner though. :) It's sad that it ends as it does. I'll survive though.

      No, this is one of those 80's shows I've not gotten started on. However I did watch a couple of random episodes. They were bonus episodes on Magnum P.I.. They were fun and made me laugh. I get a kick out of all these oldie shows because they are so far removed from today's technology. In so many years, the movies we think are cool now will be... well, no longer "cool." ;)

      Aw! Thank you, Charity - me too! Love these great chats and my visits to your fab blog. :) Happy school and reviewing. :)

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  3. yay, action movies! hehe, I've been on an action movie binge for a bit now . . . and I think this one is on my list now--I nearly forgot about it! You're right, it's worth a re-watch :)

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    1. Action movies. Suspense movies. Thrillers. You name it, I love this type of genre, Jess-Rose. Hope you see this one again and enjoy it. The confusing set-up deserves a second watch all on its own. :)

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  4. I REALLY want to see it -- and after reading your review, I may just do that tonight! :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy this one, Micah! It's one of my very fave action/adventure flicks. Did you see it?

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