Take yourself back into the days where your imagination still had the juice to turn your Nerf guns and Super Soakers into M-4s and AK-47s and your living room into a war-torn battle-field. Watching A-Team captures that mindless fun. It almost has the style of a B-movie, except the film had a budget to fund about 20 actual B-movies. Joe Carnahan, who’s best effort is still Narc, shows up here with guns loaded plus buckets of extra ammo on the side. A-Team is mindless fun done the right way. Every character is entertaining, the missions are so over-the-top that they’re glorious, and the direction from Carnahan is stylishly gritty.
The players that take on the A-Team characters are respectively suitable, but the standout performance comes from Sharlto Copley, as Murdock. Copley is a cartoon character on speed, and his quirky projection is lovably comedic. The District 9 star steals almost every scene he’s in, and might grab new fans for those that didn’t care much for his previous effort. The weakest link seems to be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Baracus, but he does a good enough job most of the time.
Carnahan has some slick tricks with the presentation of the film, such as his juxtaposition of the explanation of the plans, through expository dialogue, and the plans actually being executed. He also plugs in some ridiculous action scenes, which work for the most part, that could only be done in video games. For example, we see the team try to fly a tank in a very insane, yet clever, manner. The gunplay is accurate amongst the ludacris action scenes, and the missions all come from a man’s action fantasies.
Overall, the film is for the crazy kids that men used to be. It obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously, as the TV show never did either. The film captures and preserves the patriotic, heroic outlaw feel of the TV show, but injects it with delicious chaos.
Some of the editing surpasses gritty and becomes a mess. For example, the shaky-cam fight scene to introduce B.A. Baracus doesn’t work, as we can never clearly see the beat-downs.
Also, there is an anti-climatic fight scene between Pike, a professional assassin, and a re-born B.A that lasts all of 5 seconds. To top it off, the face-off between Hannibal and Lynch happens in darkness that may have some screaming for one of the characters to flick the light switch on.
The action scenes are unpredictable, but the plot is the complete opposite. The twists are uninspired and dull, as expected from a pop-corn action flick. There no real moments of tension or even a hint of genuine danger for the four heroes or their allies. The script could have avoided the unnecessary plot twists and could have beefed up the ending, as it really doesn’t end with a bang. In fact, the whole third act is weak; the film starts off with guns loaded, but gets a little too trigger happy and loses fire-power by the end.
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