The A-Team Review

The A-Team finally makes it to the big screen after literally decades of talk of a film coming our way. If you have seen the trailers already then you won’t be surprised that this is a ramped up actioner (yes, that was a parachuting tank that Faceman was firing from). It isn’t so much a dumb film as it is one that let the testosterone level go beyond danger levels.

Director Joe Carnahan made a decent splash in the film world with the rather forgotten about Narc. Since then he seems to have put on his Michael Bay cap and is delivering over edited, loud action pictures (although for grow ups, but they are still brash and forgettable affairs).

But, if women can have 2 ½ hours of offensive, shallow and misguided filth like Sex and the City 2: Who Let the Dogs Out, then men are just as entitled to their cake. Although it should be noted that we kept ours to the 90 minute mark! Much like Robin Hood this film acts kind of as a foretelling of how the team came to be. We find them in the military literally finding each other in the opening scene. After being set up to take the fall on another mission our team are locked away only to be sprung by the CIA in order to finish what they started in an effort to clear their names.

There is a fairly hefty supporting cast around them – including token girl of the picture Jessica Biel (or is that Alba – I never know the difference). Eyes of course will be firmly locked on the main four men themselves. How to rate them – well, Liam Neeson is a strong commanding figure – but his accent and voice only serve to remind you that he is not George Peppard, but all the same he does what he can. Bradley Cooper fares much better slipping into to ladies man role of Templeton Peck with ease. If there is energy among the team then it’s him it’s coming from. Quinton Jackson has the hardest job of taking on the role of mohawked B.A. Baracus, and to be fair he was never going to try and impersonate that voice! With that in mind he manages to still get across B.A’s hostility towards people (especially the likes of Murdock) and his fear of flying without ever falling into parody. He may not be Mr T, but he still has strength and a personality that work well. Which leaves us with District 9 breakout actor Sharlto Copley as Howling Mad Murdock. He manages to raise many a laugh when he is used, but quite often if he is not flying a plane or helicopter he tends to be sidelined in the action, leaving little room for his wacky manoeuvres. Otherwise Copley lets his nervous energy take over – even dipping in to other accents (as well as his own S.A. at one point) in various parts of the film. But it’s the banter between these guys that is going to make it worth the watch.

So, like Sex and the City 2 – this endeavour is one of guilty pleasure and pure escapism. Hang around after the credits for a couple of surprise cameos.

Steven Hurst

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