In what’s been a pretty lame summer blockbuster season with few exceptions there has been a quiet rumble in the geek kingdom around Joe Carnahan’s big budget remake of an 80’s small screen paint by numbers gem. It’s a remake which has been whispered about since the mid nineties. George Clooney, Jim Carey, Ving Rhames and a multitude of other casting wet dreams were woken up from and when producer Tony Scott finally got the remake fireball rolling it seems too little too late.
After an intro which seems to span half the film, The A Team; Colonel Hannibal Smith (A near lifeless Liam Neeson), Templeton “Faceman” Peck (The charismatic Bradley Cooper), Bosco B.A Baracus (Quinton Jackson) and insane scene stealer Murdock (District 9’s Sharlto Copley) are framed in the closing weeks of the Iraq war for a crime they didn’t commit, are stripped of their rank and put into prison… something about currency printing plates (don’t worry you’ll forget about it in about 10 minutes too).
Now they must break out, find the people responsible, shoot them, punch them, blow them up and throw them through windows.
CIA agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) and all round wild eyed commando psychopath (Brian Bloom) are good enough to keep a fair amount of evil fun on the other side of the A Team to certainly make the whole 2 hour chase film entertaining but after some pretty terrible twists, no mention of B.A’s affection for milk, the lamest construction montage of all time, a serious lack of that black van and a soundtrack so loud you can hardly hear much of the dialogue during the CGI heavy action sequences… the whole thing becomes kind of a dud.
Face’s ex, special op’s girlfriend Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel), seems like an after thought for much of the film, following the escaped innocents around the world but ultimately adding nothing which forwards the action (does she even fire her gun?). Carnahan’s balls out direction suits the script and the Cargo ship finale offer’s some fine moments which are sadly nearly destroyed by terrible CGI Rendering. The set pieces are quite dull with one or two exceptions (the guys flying a tank into a lake in Germany springs to mind) but its a definite backwards step away from getting back any semblance of a decent concept action film.
The stand out in the film and only real comic relief is Copley’s insane chopper pilot Murdock. You can’t help but feel when watching that some of his apparently incredible improvisation skills are on show as the way the movie lifts whenever he’s on screen is pretty impressive. Bradly Cooper holds his own due to a pretty terrible performance from Neeson and comes out as the films real leading man. Jackson’s B.A Baracus was never going to be the mountain of genius that is Mr T. His rendition is far more subdued, far less shouty and far sweeter. As a character he sadly delivers little, only coming to life in the films final 20 minutes.
Sure its fun and there are a few laughs along the way, most coming from Copley, but it’s just another disappointing action film with childhood ties to add to your collection when the DVD drops to a fiver.
Or just get this.
Reminiscing is a bitch.