The A-Team review
|REVIEWS - MOVIES|
High on action and satire, low in fibre, the latest summer blast-fest comes our way...
Let me warn you now, if you have even the slightest aversion to the words deus ex machina, if disbelief brings with it a taste of bile, if it’s realism you’re after in a film then forget it. The A-Team is a thinking man’s enema. It is, though, without a doubt the world’s greatest spoof film.
Smart, intricate, a step ahead of the game - Stephen J Cannell and Frank Lupo’s television series was none of those things. Instead it was humorous, vain, unashamed and explosive. It was cool. The pre-cursor to films such as Die Hard, where a barrage of bullets always just seem to miss its target, The A-Team was one of those TV shows which was so much a part of the public consciousness that even those who abhorred its cigar-chomping, gratuitous violence could recount the names of all four of its ‘soldiers of war’. Perhaps known best for Pete Carpenter and Mike Post’s iconic theme tune, the 1980s mish-mash of camp comedy and testosterone-fuelled explosions has finally made it onto the big screen after a decade of script development. Plan A, it seems, has finally come to fruition.
"An hour into the film you’ll be too busy enjoying the high production value to care what happens at the end"
Sticking to the premise of the original series, four US army Special Forces soldiers, led by the renowned Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, are set-up for a crime they didn’t commit and must work together to find the true culprit in order to clear their names. Smith, played by Oscar-winning actor Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Taken) is the rock of the team and the central architect of its finely-crafted master-plans. Alongside him jock-extraordinaire Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) is a perfect fit as Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck, a seducer and con-artist with a vanity to match his humour and hustler mentality. That just leaves Ghandi-loving, aero-phobic muscle-man BA Baracus, and mentally-unstable, super-intelligent fighter pilot “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock played respectively by UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Sharlto Copley (District 9).
And, apart from the fact that Jessica Biel is in it, that’s all you really need to know about the plot. Full of dazzling special effects and breathtaking sequences of explosions, the film is kept together less by its plot than by the chunks of humour that pervade the dialogue and the ridiculous set piece scenes that attain higher levels of insanity the further along you travel. The result is that an hour into the film you’ll be too busy enjoying the high production value to care what happens at the end.
The A-Team, then, much like its erstwhile predecessor, is an action comedy with no grounding whatsoever in reality. In short, it’s a perfect Hollywood film.
The A-Team hits UK cinemas July 28th
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR SITE, AT NO COST WITH ONE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK 'LIKE' BUTTON BELOW:
If you're interested in writing for Shadowlocked (disc and screening reviews, etc, or just getting some extra coverage for your extraordinary writing talent, get in touch with us.