The A-Team is a tribute to the classic ’80s television series and as such includes a lot of over-the-top gun violence, chase scenes and explosions with some tongue-in-cheek humour. In the TV series, the A-Team was an elite group of mercenaries, ex-military types who were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit. The A-Team movie provides the back-story, but the mayhem that happens is more action than plot. There is little suspense and the fast cuts and a constantly moving camera in the action shots sometimes makes it difficult to figure out what is going on.
The A-Team comprises four characters, the gruff, smart leader is Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), who lives by his motto of loving it when a plan comes together. He is joined by the mohawked giant, B.A. Baracus (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson), who provides the muscle; cocky Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck (Bradley Cooper), who is easily distracted by a pretty face; and ‘Mad’ Murdock (Sharlto Copley), an unbalanced but brilliant pilot. An elite unit of the military in Iraq, they are framed for stealing counterfeit engraving plates and sent to prison. With the connivance of CIA operative Lynch (Patrick Wilson), they escape to clear their names. To accomplish that goal, however, they must evade pursuit by a military team led by Lieutenant Sosa (Jessica Biel), and track down a dangerous underground operative named Pike (Brian Bloom). The new cast does an admirable job copying the television characters.
Liam Neeson: Having won an Oscar for his leading role in “Schindler’s List”, Neeson is clearly a gifted actor, but the lack of plot hinders any chance of an award in this movie, though his acting is as good as you can get.
Bradley Cooper: After shooting to global fame for his role in the original Hangover film, Bradley has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men. Cooper has tackled complex roles, but proved he could take on the role of a loveable rogue.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson: A great badass villian of 2010, he was considered a much better choice than Icecube, who was originally slated to take on the role. Quinton both surprised and impressed with his performance
Sharlto Copley: Copley’s debut as an actor was just a year before The A-Team when he played a nervous bureaucrat Wikus van de Merwe in the Oscar nominated science fiction hit District in 2009. Copley said it was his childhood dream to land the role of H.M “Howling Mad” Murdock
Jessica Biel: Strictly eye candy in this movie despite being acknowledged as a gifted actor. At this time she was engaged to Justin Timberlake who she married in 2012 and now has a son, Silas. The location of their wedding in Southern Italy was kept secret until the last minute. Timberlake’s gift to his wife was to pen a song just for her.
Director: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessic Biel, Patrick Wilson, Gerald McRaney, Henry Dzerny, Brian Bloom
Screenplay: Joe Carnahan & Brian Blom & Skip Woods
Cinematography: Marco Fiore
Music: Alan Silvestri
U.S. Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Run Time: 1:57
The language is typical of a PG-13 action flick. “S–t” is the most common word; there are a couple of “mother… f–kers” that are interrupted by explosions. “Face,” the character played by a muscle-bound Bradley Cooper, is a ladies man whose exploits are mentioned, plus he is seen engaging in two passionate kisses. Hannibal smokes his signature cigars, and the team enjoys an occasional drink.