The A-Team

I’m trying to discern how ashamed I should be for enjoying the heck out of this movie.  It’s a ballistic action picture for audiences with limited attention spans, and boy oh boy, does it ever zip along.  “The A-Team” arrives at just the right time to liven things up in a summer full of fallen princes and ugly sex-hounds.  To say Joe Carnahan has made the year’s ‘explosiest’ film would be an understatement.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never seen a single episode of “The A-Team.”  Perhaps it’s better that way, but honestly I don’t know.  Critics seem split down the middle on this movie, and I’m not sure what the core fan base would have to say.  Mr. T claims the film is too violent and full of sex.  Well there is about as much sex in this movie as there is in a family film, but the violence certainly has a high-amperage, even if it’s all cartoonish.  I’m guessing ol’ T-Man still holds a grudge for his absence in the flick.  But let’s talk about what Carnahan has put together.
After a frenetic final bout in “Smokin’ Aces,” Director Joe Carnahan has pulled out all the stops in making “The A-Team” a reality-defying movie full of sensational stunts and shootouts.  His story begins early on and glimpses the Alpha Team’s origins.  Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) must rescue one of his fellow team members, Face Peck (Bradley Cooper) with the help of another former Army Ranger, BA Baracus (Quinton Jackson).  Following the success of the rescue, the three team up with a lunatic pilot named Murdock (Sharlto Copley) and they become the ultimate mercenary team “specializing in the ridiculous.”  In a mission gone wrong , another military unit has managed to steal currency engraving plates and frame the A-Team for counterfeiting and murder.  All four members face criminal incarceration for sixth months until they are reunited by a federal agent (Patrick Wilson) who breaks them out of prison.  Hannibal assumes command and forms a plan to clear the names of himself and his team members, as well as retrieve the stolen plates.  Mayhem inevitably ensues.

In some of the most outrageous action sequences, chief among them an armored tank that flies, anything goes.  “The A-Team” delivers some knockout energy boosted by the infectious fun of the stars.  The camaradere among the stars holds the film’s greatest strength, as the firepower and explosions would be meaningless.  Don’t get me wrong–in some ways they are meaningless, but with the actors having a good time, the goofball excitement becomes increasingly infectious.  Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley especially deliver big laughs.  Some of the action is choppy and Quinton Jackson may mumble a bit much at times, but overall I didn’t find much to complain about, being that this is a film where checking one’s brain at the door is required.  The movie moves along incredibly fast, I didn’t even have time to check my watch, and I was entertained throughout.  Seriously, there is not a dull moment to be found here. Turn off your brain and grab some popcorn.

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)