I love it when a plot comes together! Unfortunately for ‘The A-Team,’ it never quite does. We can’t help but wonder what could have been in
this flawed, but undeniably fun, adaptation of the 80s television series of the same name.
I had never seen the TV show before, but the film makes its intentions clear very early on. This isn’t one of those dark and serious
“reboots,” it’s a full-fledged cheese-fest with cartoon characters and ridiculous, physics-defying, action sequences.
And for its part, the film absolutely nails that bit.
The team themselves are superbly cast, each of them chewing the scenery with excellent comic timing and delivery. Liam Neeson, Bradley
Cooper, Sharlto Copley (2009 Greggy Best Actor Winner for District 9!) and Quinton Jackson have great chemistry and their spirited
performances are the heart of the film.
Director Joe Carnahan also shows his chops. The tone in action comedy films seems to be problematic for many, but he’s more than
capable here. He never takes things too seriously, but it never becomes a complete farce either.
Carnahan also co-wrote the screenplay with Brian Blooms and Skip Woods. And while it contains some excellent comedic dialog and
sequences for the cast, it ends up being the film’s most glaring flaw.
Unlike one of Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith’s plans, the plot never comes together. At best it’s merely wallpaper for the fun dialog and
action. At worst, it’s a hindrance to the entire film.
The screenplay is overly convoluted with far too many backstabbing characters and twists that don’t really surprise us or impact us in any
way at all. In this genre, simplicity seems to be a key, and this is one case where a relatively straight forward villain would have benefitted
It really is a shame too. This film is a lot of fun at times, and part of me wants to give it higher praise, but the basic structure of the film is
flawed and prevents it from being an easy recommendation.
I also wish the film made better use of Alan Silvestri’s score. It seemed fun from what I could hear, but is woefully under mixed amid the
thunderous sound effects.
‘The A-Team’ is a lot of fun. And even though it’s probably right at the top of the pack as far as TV adaptations are concerned, it has enough
shortcomings to hold it back from being a genuinely good film. It’s a fun ride while it lasts, but don’t expect anything more than that.
* * ½
(out of four)
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Written by: Joe Carnahan & Brian Bloom and Skip Woods
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley,
Quinton Jackson, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson
Cinematography by: Mauro Fiore
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Released: June 11, 2010; 117 Minutes