Premiering Saturday night on Cinemax was 2010′s “The A-Team”, starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copely, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Jessica Biel.
Fair warning. I’m a BIG fan of the tv show.
It happened to hit me at just the right age. Any older and I think I would have been too critical of it. Any younger and I wouldn’t have appreciated its blend of humor, action and colorful characters. As it wound up though, it’s a show that would make my top 5 personal favorites from my youth with ease. If I didn’t have a baby blog to feed, I most likely would have continued to stay away from the movie adaptation in protest.
But, technically, it’s not a remake… the original was a TV show and this is a movie. And I heard enough things about it to make me think it has little chance of disrupting my fond memories of the original. And I DO need post material, so I said, screw it, let’s check it out.
I’m actually glad – well, at least not pissed – I did.
While I had initially thought my fondness for the source material would cause me to resent this movie (trust me, I was completely ready to derisively tell Liam Neeson “Good luck in Battleship”), it turns out to be the main reason I enjoyed it. In fact, I wonder if people without that attachment would like this movie as much as I did. If you didn’t recall Hannibal’s love of cigars, Face’s way with women, BA’s signature body slam, or Murdoch’s predilection for hand puppets… is any of it going to come across just based on this? Like so many movies being released nowadays, this flick is the beneficiary of things I carry into it, and I’m having a hard time determining how much it would have earned on its own.
The movie recounts the origin of the team and then the story behind the “crime they didn’t commit”. The film actually does a decent job of setting up enough plot to string together a string of ridiculously over the top action sequences. Effectively though, the fact that the action goes so FAR over the top is its strength. The action is SO ludicrous that you can’t possibly take it seriously – in essence, it evades criticism of being unrealistic by embracing its own cartoonish nature.
“Overkill is underrated” indeed.
They do a good enough job with the characters to mimic the spirit of the original. None of them have an 1/8th of the charisma of the originals, but they all receive passing grades in terms of movie adaptation counterparts. My biggest complaint regarding the movie’s treatment of the source material wound up being they trashed the iconic van early and then never brought it back. $&#%ers. Nice to see Schultz and Benedict again, though, even if their cameos only lasted milliseconds.
The end result is an enjoyable diversion – confectionary fun. But again, my impartiality is completely compromised on this one. If I were a judge I’d need to be recused. But the movie was good enough to overcome my considerable resistance. That should tell you something.
Oh, and good luck in “Battleship” Liam.