The A-Team (2010) Directed by Joe Carnahan. With Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel.
According to the IMDb, there’s a 133 minute, extended version of Joe Carnahan’s The A-Team out there. Somehow, it’s hard imagine how it might fix many of the things inherently wrong with the existing theatrical cut, which itself, long overstays its welcome.
Any child of the 80’s is likely to have at least a faint idea of what The A-Team is all about. Led by the best opening TV theme tune ever, the series was a smash hit, making cult icons of its characters and their endlessly quotable catchphrases. The idea was simple. Former war veterans on the run from the government, working as guns-for-hire for any Tom, Dick or Sally in need of some muscle.
Initially, the thought of a re-imaging of the show doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Many years have passed since the series, yet even today, its influence and indeed, direct elements, survive to be enjoyed and recycled into other forms of popular culture. It’s disappointing to have to admit then, that this reboot is a crushing bore of endless machine gun fire and over the top, CGI filled action set pieces.
Joe Carnahan doesn’t waste any time developing any kind of character set-up, as we’re thrown head-first into a brain numbing action sequence that introduces all the main actors in the process. The new quartet at least appear to have fun together, but the rapid fire editing style severely hinders any natural chemistry they might otherwise have shown.
While it’s abundantly clear the producers are aiming to create a big screen cartoon of an action film franchise, the end result is a battering ram of noisy nothingness. Signature A-Team moments are dotted, here and there, but it’s all so weak and forgettable. Alan Silvestri’s score doesn’t even allow us the pleasure of a full orchestra rendition of that theme tune, instead preferring generic sounding action music. Yawn.
With an A-list cast in tow, The A-Team ought to have been a lot more fun than this. It’s crammed full of tasteless action, and treats its audience like idiots by regularly reminding us what’s going on. At one point, Patrick Wilson’s bad guy, Lynch, likens a moment in the film to playing the video game, Call of Duty. If only it were that enjoyable. 1.5/5