Now showing on cable: “The A-Team”

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.

B+

Oh, and good luck in “Battleship” Liam.

7 thoughts on “Now showing on cable: “The A-Team”

  1. I loved the movie for exactly the reasons you state, it showed the origin of the team, the actors playing the characters were very close to the original and the action was like the TV show, unbelievable and over the top. I always watch these kind of movies from a pure entertainment value, which is why I probably enjoy more movies than other people.

    • That’s a good comparison, they’re definitely “cut from the same cloth”. I liked the A-Team more, of course, because of the nostalgia factor.

      Which is why Hollywood winds up recycling stuff…

  2. This is just the mindless fun you would expect to get from the TV show, except now you got more jacked action than ever before. And that is not a bad thing at all. Good Review Dan!

    • Thanks Dan…

      You know, I guess the best thing to say about this flick now is that tonight, in spite of just having watched it earlier this week, I turned it on again while I was doing up a post on my iPad. It could turn into one of those check in at any time flicks that you can just turn on whenever its on regardless if its already started.

      Those are nice to have around.

  3. Sorry to be the debbie downer lol but I was a bit disappointed by this. I loved the TV show as a kid but this was way more over-the-top I thought (I mean a 75-ton tank with a parachute?? AHAAHAH). It’s entertaining enough but I will leave it at that.

    • It’s cool. Honestly? That Tank thing was in the previews and it contributed to me staying away… I mean, you’re right, it IS completely ridiculous.

      For me, by then, I had let go of my expectation of realism.

      And no such thing as “Debbie Downer”, man, it’s all about the discussion… Not looking to have 100% no dissent- that would be no fun. :D

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