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random reviews and other thoughts

“A-Team” gets an A for Action

The A-Team (film)

Image via Wikipedia

After seeing “Never Say Never,” the Justin Bieber documentary, I had the inexplicable urge to watch someone get punched in the face.

Lucky for me, my local redbox had just what I needed, last summer’s blockbuster “The A-Team.”

For those unfamiliar with the 1980’s TV series, “The A-Team” is a testosterone driven action flick about a Military Special Forces team who is framed for stealing US Treasury printing plates and over a billion dollars cash. They are dishonorably discharged and sentenced to ten years in separate prisons.

The four men, Face (Bradley Cooper), Murdock (Sharlto Copley), B.A. (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), and Hannibal (Liam Neeson), have to break out, catch the real crooks, and clear their names.

I’m not old enough to remember the original TV show. All I knew about the series was that Mr. T was on it and he pitied the fool. (Which, as it turns out, is a quote from “Rocky III” and has nothing to do with the show.) But none of that really matters.

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronical describes the film as “an experiment in propulsion and personality over substance and story.” Things like a coherent plot are irrelevant with this kind of movie. I rented it for two reasons: one, to see things get blown up and two, Bradley Cooper is really pretty.

The action in this movie is great because it has to be. It’s not like they spent a whole lot of time on character development. There’s gun-play, car chases, aerial acrobatics, and my personal favorite, a flying tank. As preposterous as it sounds, they actually fly a tank.

“The A-Team” has one other thing going for it, the casting. Dialog is always an afterthought in these kinds of action movies. But, as unimportant as those sarcastic quips and witty retorts are, you still need the right personality to say them.

Neeson brings a certain credibility to the role of Hannibal no matter how outlandish the rest of the movie is. Cooper has made a career of being a smart ass pretty boy and doesn’t break the mold here. Jackson is a Ultimate Fighting Light-Heavyweight champion who, after one look, you know is someone you don’t want to mess with. And Copley, a relative new comer, delivers some of the film’s funniest one-liners with charisma and charm.

As you can imagine, critics didn’t give “The A-Team” glowing reviews. But most agreed that it was fun. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune went so far as to call it “reasonably entertaining.”

Nobody involved in the making of this movie took it, or themselves, too seriously. The writers, director, and actors all seem to know that what they’re doing isn’t great, but enjoyable. As long as you aren’t expecting too much more that big explosions and mediocre jokes you’ll have a good time too.

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  1. Pingback: The Commuter: Vol. 42 « Art in the Rye Design - June 19, 2011

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