The A-Team follows the exciting and daring exploits of a colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going “rogue,” they utilize their unique talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit. (20th Century Fox)
7 out of 10
I need to start off this review by pointing out the film’s biggest flaw. No, it’s not the fact that it’s another example Hollywood being lazy and rebooting another classic franchise, it’s not the fact that Mr. T is nowhere to be seen, it’s not even the fact that whole movie is just another in a long line of predictable action flicks. No, the biggest flaw in this movie is one person: Jessica Biel.
The young lady can’t act, plain and simple and she’s poorly cast in every single film she’s in. Seriously, is the audience truly supposed to believe that she’s not only an officer in the U.S. Army but a Special Forces-type who they actually put in charge of things? Now this wouldn’t even be an issue if she were routinely in exceptional films that could withstand her brand of crap or even if she were in truly awful films where should could just blend right into the scenery but she never is. She’s always in these borderline-good films and she’s always a freakin’ anchor that pushes a decent film into the realm of crap-tastic. Honestly, the only kind of films that she should be doing are the ones that involve hand-held cameras, minimal dialog and the obligatory pool boy. The problem she has, though, is that there a thousand other chicks in that particular film industry who look exactly like she does.
That being said, fortunately you experience 20 minutes of phenomenal frenetic action before we even see her dopey self so the damage she normally causes is mitigated. Other than Biel, the only two major flaws in this film are Liam Neeson’s inability to pull-off an American accent and of course, the ridiculous “flying tank” scene which is oddly reminiscent of the beyond-retarded F-35 jet scene in Live Free or Die Hard and in both cases I recommend fast-forwarding through them or leaving the room and pretending they never happened.
But, honestly, The A-Team is exactly what you’d expect it to be and surprisingly it doesn’t suck because of that. It’s obviously a reboot and it’s been modernized for 2010, but the casting was excellent (despite Neeson’s accent issues) and the characters were written very true to their TV counterparts from the 1980’s, and in fact (and people are going to hate me for saying this) maybe even a little deeper and a little better.
The action sequences in this film are fantastic (albeit a little on the unbelievable side at times) the villains are entertaining and there’s enough classic A-Team nostalgia thrown in to make even those most skeptical fan appreciate this new take (yes, they do go all MacGyver more than once, just like they did regularly on the show). I think the main reason all of this works is because Stephen J. Cannell is the top-billed producer and it’s obvious he was there to make sure that his baby was taken care of.
The dialog is clever and decently written and the film moves at a very good pace and I could think of a lot less fun ways to spend 117 minutes. Is it going to win any Oscars? No, but it is certainly one of the best action films I have seen this year. I hate to say this, but the way this film was done, with the deference and reverence shown to the source material is very reminiscent of last year’s mega-hit Star Trek and yes, I would know. And rest assured, like Star Trek, it was made very clear at the end of this film that this won’t be the last time we’ll be seeing these beloved characters on the big screen.