The A-Team

December 29, 2010

The A-Team


This is a wonderfully created mindless action film that has massive plot holes that one really doesn’t care about when watching it.  All you care about is the over the top action, the absurd schemes, and the fools who need pitying.  The acting is actually surprisingly good and entertaining, and the writing is quite solid in that there are plenty of cheesy one-liners, but they are all done perfectly.

The story starts out with a mission to take out a Mexican general who has been causing troubles along the US border.  This has little to do with the actual story of the film, it just brings the team together.  As Hannibal Smith has only been working with the Face prior to that, and then they bring in BA and Murdock.  The story really takes off as they are over in Iraq and overstep their jurisdiction and end up going into Baghdad to get some plates and money from that are being smuggled out of the city.  Things go wrong with a rogue group on the army base takes out the general and steal the plates and blow up the money.  Since the mission was off the books, the A-Team ends up in trouble, gets dishonorably discharged, and gets prison terms.  The man who gave them originally, Lynch from the CIA, helps Hannibal bust out of jail so he can get revenge and get the plates back.  Things, however, don’t go quite as plan as some old friends turn out to be players in the current mess of affairs, and an absurd plan comes together to take down Lynch and get the plates back.

The acting in this film is surprisingly good.  Liam Neeson, for being an older man, still has what it takes to be an action star (Taken).  Even though he isn’t the run around and beat them up type of action hero, he does a very good job with a more thinking mans action role.  Bradley Cooper (from The Hangover) is very nicely pompous and free wheeling as The Face, and pulls of a confident and arrogant swagger quite nicely in everything that he does.  Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, known for his MMA skills, makes a believable BA, and fits the build of BA wonderfully.  His acting was surprisingly good as well.  Murdock, played by Sharlto Copley (District 9), is probably the best out of all the characters and  he plays a crazy man wonderfully.  He has a ton of great quirks and quibbles about the way he acts.  The rest of the cast is solid.  Jessica Biel does  a solid job in her army officer role, and Patrick Wilson is nicely slimey as Lynch.

Visually this film does a good job, it is kind of like a Michael Bay film in that the action scenes are big and the plot is fairly thin, but that isn’t an issue with this film, as it is meant to be mindless fluff.  There are some scenes are that so absurd yet entertaining, such as flying the tank, and they honestly look pretty good with the explosions and the crashes.  There were only rare moments when the CGI came off as not extremely realistic, otherwise, it was directed and shot well.  Joe Carnahan, director of Smokin’ Aces, does a better job with this film, in that the characters are fairly well defined and likable, and there is more actual story to this film.  He has potential to be a very good action film director when his career is done, even if they are all going to be on the lighter and fluffier side of things.

This is really an ideal summer film, it is one for when all you want to do is sit around, not think, and enjoy some mindless action.  It provides the mindless action wonderfully well, and the hair brained plans that work so wonderfully are great to watch.  If you like action films, this one is worth checking out over some other action films such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Critical Grade: C+

Entertainment Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B


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