Thursday, August 26, 2010

The A-Team: Silly action movie, but faithful where it counts!

The A-Team is easily one of the most recognisable TV icon shows of the 80’s. Anyone who was alive before 1983 has seen it, even if they don’t recall it, and those that do remember it, do so very fondly. It was a harmless show with respect to the fact it was incredibly theatrically exciting, yet pacifistically non-violent to the point where no-one was ever killed on screen. Even when we were treated episodically to the destruction of a convoy of vehicles, due to a crash, flip over or petrol tank spontaneously exploding – we always saw the driver and any passengers escape relatively unscathed. As the team themselves used the notoriously inaccurate Ruger Mini 14 rifle without extending their stocks, it was amazing they never killed anyone - if only by accident!

The new A-Team movie represents a faithful adaptation of the spirit of the tight-knit camaraderie that existed between the main characters, only this time a few people get killed [don’t worry, only one or two, it remains faithful to the premise that these men are so elite – they don’t have to kill – wibble!]. Joe Smokin’ Aces Carnahan has crafted a wonderful origin tale for our heroes of who are drawn together in the most ridiculous and implausible circumstances possible. Stripped out of A-Team lore is nosey reporter Amy, for the most part B.A.’s van - as the adventure crosses continents, the idea that Hannibal is a Hollywood actor and thankfully the later additions of Frankie Santana and General Hunt Stockwell are ignored. Rather than being pursued by Colonel Decker [or Colonel Lynch in Season 1], our heroes are chased by the delectable Jessica Biel as Lieutenant Sosa [it'd make me consider violating the UCMJ if I knew I was going to be tailed by that sweet piece of tail – snigger!] while the name Lynch is attributed as a “codename” to a CIA agent of questionable motivation and the dare-I-say-it – “rogue” element in the extraordinarily contrived and implausible plot.

Do not despair however that too much has been taken away from the original, the team themselves while tweaked are basically the same bunch of lads you know and love. Liam Taken Neeson not only adopts George Peppard's original look for Hannibal he actually channels his intellect and self assuredness without appearing cocky and arrogant. Bradley The Hangover Cooper is every much a ladies’ man as Dirk Benedict’s Face, but grows here as a leader in the making himself. The South African actor Sharlto Copley was selected to play Howling Mad Murdock and he proves that he’s not a one-time fluke from his exceptional performance in District 9 last year. While obviously unhinged, Copley downplays the more manic aspects of Dwight Shultz’s original character which is more consistent with the fact that he was allowed to serve again in uniform after his escape from the mental institution [although believe me there are a few running around today in uniform that are a few bricks short of a wall]. The biggest change however was undoubtedly done to the character most dear to my heart - B.A. Baracus, the character made immortal by the gruff talking, steel glared Mr. T. Initially I was worried by Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson's ghetto-speak in the trailer but I quickly realised that it would have been completely ridiculous to him "jive-talking" in 2010. I'm glad they managed to to treat the character as a human being and not like so many episodes of the TV show where they just needed him to lift a bus or something.

I will say the helicopter chase at the beginning was excellent but by the time the team started "flying a tank" in freefall, I knew this was going to be an extremely silly movie right up to the chain-reaction explosions of the cargo containers during the finale.

Final Verdict: The fans are split, some won't let go of the original and are calling it a travesty, but others are just accepting it as it is, a silly little action movie with a few predictible twists created as a homage to a beloved TV show and it's characters of our youth. I doubt a sequel will appear, but if a vote is been taken, count mine.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****

13 comments:

Constance said...

I thought it was outstanding, a tour de force. Why, I even paid a whole 99 cents to see it.

Dahar Master said...

I thought the guy from district 9 was better than Barclay as mad dog

civilian overseer said...

But did they modify the van?

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, You're an American, I hearit's apretty small place, tell me did you see the Colonel providing security for Glenn Beck's unintentional civil rights memorial today?

Constance said...

Ooh, I haven't seen District 9 yet, I must rectify the situation this weekend.

Civvy, I can neither confirm nor deny the actions taken by one Colonel "Whooper" Creedon on the day in question. I wasn't there, nowhere near in fact. I was taking my mother out for her 65th birthday to several public places where waitstaff, nail technicians, various artists, and family members can absolutely vouch for my being there and not somewhere else.

Oh, and the van doesn't make it.

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, so you're saying that you just couldn't the arsed to attend the Reverend Al Sharpton's protest rally to reclaim the memory of Dr. King from the far right for the civil rights movement?.

All it takes for the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of this world to succeed is for the Connie's of this world to do nothing.

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, you havn't seen Distict 9 yet?, you should,you really should, it'll give you an idea of what the world will be like under President Palin and her head of homeworld security, the Colonel.

Colonel Creedon said...

President Palin and her head of homeworld security, the Colonel -

What the hell, you can't just post Executive Plan 44 on an open forum!!!

civilian overseer said...

Colonel you're quite right, thats what wikileaks is for.

Constance said...

Civvy, you'll never make me talk.

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, do you mean a gentleman has finally succeeded in getting a young lady to shut up? ;)

Constance said...

Sir! You wound me! I would never accuse you of being a gentleman!

My years of experience with you Y-chromosome-types tells me that you secretly like our prattling on.

Civilian Overseer said...

Sir! You wound me! I would never accuse you of being a gentleman!

Connie, by granting me the use of the above honorific, you are in fact calling me a gentleman and then contradicting yourself.

You West Brits and your funny way with the Queen's English.

I must confess a certain fondness for double X waffle. ;)