The A-Team was always superficial, daft, dumb fun and here it’s no different. We have excellent recasting which works well, Hannibal (Liam Neeson), Face (Bradley Cooper), Murdoch (Sharlto Copley) and finally B.A. Baracas (Rampage Jackson), perhaps the weakest link. After all, who can play B.A. Baracas other than Mr T himself, declining the part for unspecified reasons.
If you are looking for depth, you will not find it here. The movie unapologetically setting out to be exactly what the series was, with a larger budget and real movie stars.
We are treated to many action sequences which grow ever more preposterous but are staged with such verve and a tongue firmly in cheek, that they remain enjoyable all the same. The teams plane is shot down and the whole crew pile into a tank plummeting to earth, meanwhile Face shoots down drones from the turret, obviously reality left on an earlier flight.
Clearly the film does not take itself too seriously and the tone is light and is all the more effective for this approach. By the way, you cannot fly a helicopter upside down, it’s impossible unless modified to do so, I checked.
The plot is largely irrelevant but essentially sketches the series back-story where the gang are wanted for a crime they didn’t commit, adding a contemporary edge by setting the action in Iraq.
Jessical Biel as a Military Intelligence officer, gets to look tough and business like, this is clearly indicated by the severe pony tail, tight jeans and cool sunglasses. Lynch (Patrick Wilson) is the CIA agent who flits in and out of the shadows as required. Clearly the CIA needs a better PR agent, as in many recent films, they are not shown in a good light.
Face, Hannibal and especially Murdoch are great fun and clearly enjoying themselves. Rampage falls in the long shadow of the inimitable Mr T and certainly struggles, literally on occasion, to be heard clearly above the action.
In similar fashion to the TV series, automatic weapons are used almost constantly but the body count is very low, although we do see some casualties. If you remember your TV show correctly, a jeep can be crushed by an 18 wheeled truck three times but the occupants will always emerge with nothing more than headache.
This is mind candy but does not set out to be anything else and that honesty is somewhat refreshing. There are many faults e.g. an absence of any discernible plot, but that is not important here.
There is a impressive showdown in a container port where on occasion the CG effects are noticeable and more time could have been spent with the characters interacting. Certainly the army should get themselves one of those bazookas, if one single firing can create that much damage.
The series ran for five seasons and there is certainly room on this evidence for this franchise to grow further still.
To paraphrase Hannibal, “we love it when a movie comes together”
Great mindless enjoyable fun, if you liked the series you will love this.
If “A-Team” means nothing to you, you will probably enjoy this anyway.