I love action movies, action movies that make the impossible possible, most people do. The A-Team is one of those movies that while completely unrealistic in almost every imaginable way, is too damn enjoyable to ignore. Sure, it has its faults and is not entirely that great of a film. Yet if you’re looking for an excuse to see Liam Neeson play the part of another indomitable bad ass, alongside a lovely camaraderie of friends, then this is your movie.
The A-Team starts off with an origin story, showing how the group got together, and as it turns out, they did so mainly by chance having a wicked sense of humor. This group of rag-tag individuals decide to join forces and in so doing, become one the of the best militant forces the world has to offer.
If you go into The A-Team thinking that you’re about to see one of the finest action flicks known to man, then you may find yourself mildly disappointed. The movie succeeds on a whole number of levels though, from its sheer absurdity to the almost cartoonish level of action that is dealt out. The members of the A-Team do help to make the movie more entertaining, with Bradley Cooper playing the part of Faceman and Sharlto Copley as Murdock, these two really bring about an overall sense of excitement. They are both ridiculously eccentric, especially Murdock, and this simply makes them impossible to resist. Liam Neeson doesn’t show much character as Hannibal, strutting around with a cigar and a scowl. Of course the real lesson behind the movie is the same lesson that we all learned after watching Taken: don’t mess with Liam Neeson or else he will seriously mess you up. The degree to which the team’s plans are perfecrtly coordinated, down to the second, being even able to predict what the bad guys will do, is quite absurd, but in the best of ways. Quinton Jackson as B.A. Baracus is by no means Mr. T, but in fact is the weakest link to this chain of actors. The whole time I was watching him on screen I felt that almost everything he said was incredibly forced with no real soul behind it.
While the general campiness is all fun and good, The A-Team has two big problems. First, way too much happens. It’s pretty clear that the filmmakers had sequels in mind, but had their ideas shot down and were then forced to make one of the most convoluted action movies ever made. There’s enough material here for at least two movies, maybe even three, but everything is stuffed together. The bad guys are many and the lines get blurred as to who is bad and who needs some serious killing. By the time the movie finished, my patience had almost run out, with me not wanting to deal with any more of a story. Secondly, The A-Team takes itself too seriously. Granted, the actors are allowed to have fun with their roles, and have fun they do, but unlike regular ludacris action flicks, The A-Team wants you emotionally invested in these characters. Instead of just letting you have fun, you get melodrama rammed down your throat in an unsightly way. We don’t need it and the movie would have been much better without it. When it’s gotten to the point in your movie where you characters are stuck in a tank, falling from thousands of feet up and using the cannon and the momentum from its shots to steer them into a lake and provide a “safe landing”, then you should probably give up on the whole ‘seriousness” aspect of your film.
There will be a nostalgia factor for the people who grew up watching The A-Team on TV and that might help them appreciate it all the more. For regular folks though, admitting that you thought The A-Team was a good movie is perhaps something of a guilty pleasure. Things are never explained to the audience, especially in terms of how the A-Team is able to do the things they do and where they’re getting all their resources from. Instead you simply have to believe in the awesome might of them. If not for the fact that there was a TV show to base the movie off of, then perhaps everyone wouldn’t be as excited to go see The A-Team. Even so, the movie is fun piece of work and a delightful way to spend a Friday night.