A-Team, The (Review)

(6/10/10; Action)
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bloom
SCR: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods; based on the television series created by Stephen J. Canell and Frank Lupo
DIR: Joe Carnahan
MPAA: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content.
1 hour 57 mins
BOX: $77,222,099

Big-screen version of the fondly-remembered (albeit campy) ’80s action show gets one thing right: the casting of the iconic roles is spot-on, even if Jackson only ends up doing an impersonation of Mr. T.

For those not familiar with the concept, the A-Team is comprised of ex-United States Army Special Forces who work as soldiers of fortune while being on the run from the military after being branded as war criminals for a “crime they didn’t commit”.

Being a reboot, we spend twenty minutes watching the team get together and another twenty watching them get framed. The result is a lopsided flick with barely enough plot to get us from one action sequence to the next, each more buggy than the last.

Two things conspire to dismantle this Team: First, like the Ocean’s Eleven movies, there is never any sense of danger so there is no rooting interest. Worse, I have no problem with outrageous over-the-top action but I do prefer to have even the slightest idea who’s fighting, running or exploding. Carnahan spends so much time shaking the camera that the action is often imperceptible.

Far more entertaining than anything in this film: the online pissing match between Carnahan and Deadline Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke once she outed the film for its runaway production and nine (!) writers. Google it.

(20th Century Fox)


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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