Thursday, 10 June 2010

The A Team: Movie Review

The A Team: Movie Review

The A Team
Rating: 8/10
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Quinton Rampage Jackson, Patrick Wilson
Director: Joe Carnahan
Some 27 years after the TV Series first debuted, The A Team finally make it to the big screen.
In this latest version we're treated to the rebirth of the series (a kind of origin film) and we see how the A Team came together.
The team first forms in Mexico - with "Hannibal" Smith (Neeson) enlisting the help of Face (Cooper), BA Baracus (Jackson) and Murdoch (Copley) to escape. The quartet form a close bond and become a clandestine unit for some successful 80 odd missions together.
But the one mission which changes their lives sees them as soldiers in Iraq and assigned by the CIA and their lackey (Patrick Wilson) to take back a US dollar bill printing press snatched by the remnants of Saddam's Iraqi guards.
However, the A Team finds themselves framed (as the infamous TV series opening goes) and they set out to clear their names and catch the bad guys.
But with the CIA and Jessica Biel's Captain Sosa out to shut them down, they could have bitten off more than they can chew.
Well, well, from a slightly underwhelming trailer, I have to admit this is a pleasant surprise.
The A Team remains faithful to fans of the show and yet manages to reinvent it for a new generation. A wonderfully action packed opener sees the gang thrown together and introduced in a clever piece of plotting - and from there on, you're charmed by all four main performances.
Each of them has retained the essences of what made the original series great - while Neeson may growl a little once too often, it's good those in charge have decided to stick so closely to the personalities perpetuated by the likes of George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz and Mr T.
For an action film, there's just the right amount of action too - it doesn't dominate the story - and even offers up some new takes on the stock action sequences.
But it's the chemistry between Cooper, Neeson, Copley and Jackson which really make this work - there's the whole feeling of camaraderie between them (and BA and Murdoch still squabble as much as they did before) which helps you through a plot which may be obvious to those who've seen a lot of films.
It's pitched clearly at the family blockbuster crowd with some comedy thrown into the relatively straight mix - and as the kids reviewers agree, for the most part it works.
16 year old Connor found he couldn't make out some action scenes but thought Murdoch was the best character because he was totally insane - although he was still clever and a team player. But the whole brotherhood teamwork shone through for him.
Younger brother Jackson loved the whole thing with a good story, great action and snappy dialogue. He also liked the bit with a falling tank too.
So this new version of The A Team is to be applauded; a faithful, straight and relatively intelligent action thriller which will appeal to fans new and old.
We love it when a plan comes together.

PS Watch out for blink and you'll miss it cameos from two of the original A Team too...

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