The A-Team (2010)
[Note from the Author: This is the final A-Team piece I plan on writing. Apart from having other things I’d rather write about, I simply have very little left to say about the original series. So in the interest of not letting things get stale, I’m pulling the plug on the series, at least for now.]
Last summer saw the release of the big budget adaptation of the ‘80s cheese ball television classic The A-Team. Given the rather underwhelming reception it received at the box office, I think we can safely say there won’t be a sequel, so this is as good a time as any to examine what the filmmakers got right and what they got wrong.
I really don’t want to recap the entire movie, so here’s a relatively brief (for me, at least) summary of the extended 133-minute unrated cut.
The movie is an origin story, of course; I blame comic book fans for this trend. In the show, you got all the backstory you needed from the opening narration, but in this movie, we actually get to see how the A-Team is formed. Also, the backstory has been updated from the team being Vietnam veterans on the run, to soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Which is a good choice, seeing as the movie wouldn’t work with four guys in their sixties. (Though there are some cases where that works just fine.)
We begin in Mexico, with Hannibal (Liam Neeson) saving Face (Bradley Cooper) from a corrupt general whose wife he slept with, while picking up B.A. (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) along the way. All the guys get cool intros, with B.A. taking the cake with a great fight scene. In a nice nod to Mr. T, he even has the words “pity” and “fool” tattooed across his knuckles. Well, I think it’s nice, at any rate.
Face is also given a great intro, where he’s about to be barbecued by the aforementioned general. He’s a much bigger smartass than he was in the show, but it works fine for the character, so I can’t complain.
They escape, during which we’re introduced to the classic van. We’re also introduced to Murdock (Sharlto Copley), posing as a doctor in the usual hospital setting.
We then get the setup for the animosity between Murdock and B.A. (sadly, it comes at the expense of the Van), as well as an explanation for B.A.’s fear of flying. After some decent aerial action, the film proper begins. And all this takes us through the first 21 minutes or so of the film.