Saturday, June 12, 2010

The A-Team (2010)

Greetings to all, I return to the Z-portal after nearly a 3 month long hiatus. There have been some personal issues going on in my life that has taken up most of my free time, but now I’m back baby!!!

 …with a review of the new A-Team movie that opens today. First off, before I launch into the review, let me apologize to any A-Team fans that I might offend in this post. I admit that I was never a fan of the original series and am completely unsure how this movie lives up to the original series. With that being said, allow me to touch on why I was so eager to see this movie. One line from Jessica Biel stating that the A-team “specialize in the ridiculous” was all it took. Coupled with the fact that the trailer for this movie showed Bradley Cooper firing at an aircraft from a tank that was falling from the sky, all promised tons of insane action to come. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson stars as B.A. Baracus (originally played by Mr. T) and being a fan of MMA, definitely sparked a little interest as well. While I enjoy an intelligent movie, I also enjoy mindless action from big budget summer blockbusters as well and the A-Team movie delivers that in spades.

     In the opening scene, we find a man getting “worked over” by two corrupt Mexican officials for attempting a one-man rescue mission. After being left to the dogs, and dispatching of them rather quickly during his escape, we find that it’s Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, a master tactician and the (eventual) methodic leader of  the A-Team. Liam Neeson plays Hannibal in role very similar to the one he played in the crime drama Taken, where he’s a highly skilled CIA agent trying to find his daughter who was kidnapped during a trip to Europe. We are also introduced to Rampage Jackson’s character as he goes on a rampage to get his van back. We also find Bradley Cooper, who I thought gave an exceptional performance in the (2009) sleeper hit The Hangover, as Templeton “Faceman” Peck who is about to be burned alive by a crooked Mexican government official for sleeping with his wife. Rushing to the rescue of his comrade and protégé of sorts, Hannibal attempts to car jack B.A. in the dessert but enlists his help after finding out that they are comrades of the same military unit. After a daring rescue of Faceman, they attempt to make their escape with the General’s army on their tail. The band ends up at a hospital where they seek medical attention for B.A. and are in search of a pilot. It’s here that we meet the fourth and final member of the group, H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock played by Sharlto Copley. (District 9) A mentally unstable pilot who, after a single ride in a helicopter during their escape, instills a fear of flying in B.A. after his insane aerial maneuvers. This is how the A-Team is formed. Fast forward 8 years, and after 80 successful missions, Hannibal and his A-Team catch wind of Iraqi insurgents having come into possession of plates that can be used to mint billions of dollars in unbacked American currency. Despite General Morrison’s attempt to discourage Hannibal, they accepted this mission as they normally would and the A-Team set out to do what they do best. Only this time, after successfully retrieving the money and stolen plates, the evidence was destroyed and General Morrison was killed, setting up the A-Team to look like criminals. After being dishonorably discharged, the A-Team is incarcerated in separate federal prisons. After 6 months of planning, Hannibal makes his escape and breaks out the rest of the team. Now fugitives on the run, these four set out to retrieve the plates once again and clear their name. What ensues is a ton of insane and ridiculous action as promised, punctuated by plenty of humorous moments. (A few of which are due to B.A. fear of flying)

     The ONLY complaint I have about this movie is the frenetic camerawork during B.A.’s fight scene in the beginning. They delivered on the ridiculous action as promised… but why cast Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, someone who actually knows how to fight, but give him a very short fight scene that doesn’t clearly show the action. Aside from this minor complaint, I personally LOVED this movie and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast paced action movies that almost require you to suspend your logic and just enjoy it for what it is. Once again, I was not a fan of the original series and have no idea how this compares. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about the movie, especially if you were a die-hard fan of the original series.

Z-rating: 8.5 out of 10