Monday, 12 July 2010

The A-Team

When there is no plan B? Just film a remake.

Well, I wouldn't be the first person to say it's been quite a dismal summer of films so far. Shrek and Toy Story 3 seem to be bubbling beneath the radar more than their predecessors, the new Twilight film has completely thrown away any trace of trying to cater for all audiences and decided to please it's core audience and overall there's a profound sense of disappointment. Another one to add to the list then is The A-Team.

No-one would come into this movie thinking they are going to get cinema gold, so it's good that expectations are somewhat low, because it meets them. If you're a fan of the original series (which I found quite camp, but I'm sure others would beg to differ) then you're more than likely in for a treat as it doesn't try to be something it isn't - it is, after all, pure action.

The story is, to be honest, confusing enough that anything is plausible, but takes enough baby steps through the plot to make sure you don't ask any questions. What we're left with is set piece after set piece of little missions that make up a rather, dare I say it, almost boring action film. The CG looks fake, the out-and-out ridiculous action borders on stupidity and every cliche box is ticked. But then, there are parts I enjoyed.

What the all-important factor of The A-Team is that once you've taken away the political subtexts and social commentaries, you're left with a bunch of friends who look out for each other. Sheer male bonding. Luckily, the writers have focused more on this leaving you with the sense that they do actually care for each other and taking your focus away from the plot. Liam Neeson plays his mentor card (a card that he's using way too much recently) and again proves that he can do action, even at his ripe old age, his younger counter-part, and the main focus of the film, is Bradley Cooper's Face and, he nails it. His cheeky bravado and charm makes him perfectly cast but it is only when we get the 'love' bits that he lets us down, it's a subplot that is shoved in horribly into the story and jars like trying to justify putting a dancing monkey on the screen. That doesn't happen by the way.

Sharlto Copley (better known for his work in the amazing District 9) is the real stand-out and hopefully more work will be coming his way because of this. Even UFC fighter Quinton Jackson does well but in all fairness cannot compete with Mr T. His knuckles that bare 'Pity' and 'Fool' just seem a bit stupid seeing as he never says it and the van is hardly in the film. His story of trying to come to terms with his conscience is also horribly wrong and completely uncalled for. I don't really care if he has a soft side, I want to see him kick some ass blaxploitation style, which never really happens. Jessica Biel might as well have been played by a sock with eyes stuck on and Patrick Wilson tries to give the quirky bad guy a go, but I think he's more suited for 'real' acting.

Overall, the film is a mess and soon you just want it to end. As far as action films go, there's a lot worse and it gets points for trying, but is let down by a bad script and lack of originality. In fact, it could almost ruin your idea of The A Team, but then the series wasn't that great.
Was it?

Rating: 6/10

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