Movie Review- The A-Team

Well, I struggle with where to begin with this film. I really am not sure whether I just saw a fantastic summer blockbuster, chock full of action, swagger and Brad Cooper’s pecs or the most recent hunk of shit in a long line of hunks of shit. Every fiber of the movie snob that dwells within me is saying ‘this movie sucks, it’s insanely ridiculous and I hated it’, but I just didn’t hate it. I think I actually really enjoyed it *gasp*

Yes, I enjoyed the A-Team. It had every single cliche of action films that drives me nuts: assault rifles with bottomless magazines? Czech. Check. A parachuting tank? Check (Granted, this is probably the first movie with a parachuting tank so thus it wouldn’t be cliche to have this in the film, but you know what I mean). Men hitting each other in the head as hard as they can with bare fists back and forth with seemingly no injuries to show for it (ever seen a UFC fight? Rampage Jackson doesn’t need to hit a guy like Patrick Wilson six times in the skull to KO him). Yep the movie has that too. A confusing plot (and I’m not stupid, the shit just doesn’t really make sense). Check. A bending of the space time continuum to get from Germany to the Port of Los Angeles in 48 hours via cargo freighter on the Atlantic? Check. And a laundry list of other issues that I’d go crazy trying to point out and explain. But, friends, despite all these things I sat in that theater for two hours and enjoyed myself.

The best thing the movie had was the cast. Liam Neeson, delivers as per usual. No one grunts through that aged but still badass role like my man Liam. Rampage was the weakest of the cast. He really didn’t bring much to the role that made and still sustains Mr. T. At times he even sounded like he was just doing a Mr. T impression, so I’m not impressed with Rampage’s foray onto the silver screen. Patrick Wilson yuckin’ it up as the generic ‘I don’t exist CIA agent’. Wilson was more than adequate and I really enjoyed his scenes. Brad Cooper was excellent as Face, who as you might’ve guessed is the womanizing member (ha…member) of the team. But Mr. Cooper really brings the swagger to the role and makes you forget you’ve seen someone in action movies play this role a thousand times before. And the standout for me was Sharlto Copley as Murdoch. The District 9 star stole a lot of the scenes with a frenetic energy and unpredictability that was just fun to watch. And Jessica Biel was in the movie too, but she did nothing to make the movie better other than have perfect bone structure. In other words, any attractive woman could have played this role. In different other words, she doesn’t top her outstanding performance in the Freddie Prinz classic, Summer Catch (nor does she repeat the sheer wet t-shirt-iness of that role). With inferior talent in the lead roles the movie would’ve been overcome by the horrendous cliches, but Brad Cooper, Liam Neeson and Sharlto Copley keep this baby afloat. And for you UFC fans, Rampage whips out his signature body slam, much to the chagrin of the generic bad guy that’s on the receiving end. Luckily, it won’t hurt generic bad guy long…because it kills him (spoiler alert).

Director Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) handles things adequately. A little too frenetic with the camera work during hand to hand combat scenes; then again I imagine Liam Neeson doesn’t exactly blitzkrieg through those fight sequences so a little camera trickeration to hide that might’ve been necessary. The CGI is only distractingly ridiculous in parts, the freighter ship finale needed about a thousand less randomly exploding objects (are all the containers loaded with dynamite, gasoline, and Serbian guys ignoring the clear warning labels and smoking cigarettes nearby? Because they all seem to explode for little or no reason.) So, overall, I’m not offended by the direction of the movie, but I’m certainly not overwhelmed with a need for more Joe Carnahan films.

Bottom line: I turned my brain off, knew the movie would commit every heinous sin of action cliches, and still enjoyed the movie. The chemistry between the four main stars carried the film through its absurd pandering to the god of Jerry Bruckheimer and kept me entertained. Check it out, it’s not Heat but it isn’t a total turd burglar like GI Joe. Don’t be such a snob, it’s okay to like crappy movies sometimes.

I award this film 3 gold stars! (No, I will not elaborate any further on the rating system, you’ll just have to guess what this rating is out of and whether there is any star better than gold that could’ve been awarded)

Thank you, shirtless Brad Cooper lolzing in a wave pool, that'll be all.

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