Thursday, 10 June 2010
FILM REVIEW: THE A-TEAM
20th Century Fox
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I reviewed The Losers? I said that I always thought the trailer resembled a poor man’s A-Team but that I hoped the actual A-Team movie would aim higher than the ‘better than expected’ critical consensus? Oh well.
I’m not sure if fans of the 1980s TV series, where a unit of disgraced military men went about righting wrongs for money, will find this feature film remake a worthy update or a fat steamy dump on their childhood memories (I’m assuming most fans were kids in the ‘80s). I remember watching the show but I wouldn’t call myself a fan and I certainly harboured no desire to see it revisited.
The film opens like an origin story, with a mission in Mexico introducing us to Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) and Face (Bradley Cooper), who are in turn introduced to B.A. Baracus (Quince ‘Rampage’ Jackson) and Murdock (District 9’s Sharlto Copley), thus forming the A-Team (A is for Alpha). Cut to eight years later and we find the men in the Middle East and called on by the CIA to retrieve US currency printing plates which the enemy has in its possession. But it’s all a set-up: the plates are stolen and the A-team, believed responsible, are dishonourably discharged and imprisoned.
The rest of the film (it clocks in at 2 hours) concerns itself with the A-team escaping from their various prisons and going on a global search for the plates and the men who set them up. It’s one set piece after another, mostly in Germany but climaxing in Los Angeles; a blur of action and noise and very little else.
Fans of The A-team will come away from this film either bitterly disappointed or, like a lot of Transformers fans (to cite another '80s re-boot), accept it as a fond trip down memory lane however inferior.
The very similar The Losers has struggled to reach $1 million after two weeks of release in Australia so I’d be interested to see if The A-Team surpasses that take in its opening weekend or struggles similarly. I suspect nostalgia, and the marketing clout of 20th Century Fox, will ensure the former. To paraphrase Hannibal, the plan will come together.