Saturday, June 12, 2010

Movie Review: The A-Team

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So I'm looking at Fandango trying to figure out what movie to see this weekend and I was very disappointed at the selection. The regular theaters have two remakes, one a big screen adaptation of an 80's TV show or the other a re imagining of a beloved 80's movie. The art cinema didn't look much better. Due to a State of Hawaii holiday, I didn't go to my usual first show of the day but went in the later afternoon. I was very surprised to see a huge line for people to get in and see Karate Kid. I on the other hand had chosen to see The A-Team. Even though I was in high school and college in the 80's, I didn't watch The A-Team.

The only thing I remember was Mr T's catch phrase "I pity the fool" which didn't even come from the series. I only had the previews and movie itself to go by. While I was not totally thrilled with it, it did make for a good popcorn movie.

The previews set it up, a group of soldiers was arrested for a crime they were wrongly accused of committing now they are out to clear themselves. We are introduced to each of the members of the A-Team and how they met. Introduced first is Liam Neeson as Col John "Hanibal" Smith. Funny now every time I hear the name Hannibal I think of a cannibal and not the place where Tom and Huck grew up. Next is MMA fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as Sergeant Bosco Albert B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus. Joining them is Bradley Cooper's Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck and to top off the team is Sharlto Copley as Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock. This time instead of Vietnam, they are stationed in Iraq.

So we're treated to their origin. Next up, how they are wrongly accused. In Iraq , one of Face's old flames Lieutenant Sosa (Jessica Biel) tells him not to get involved with a plot to try to retrieve stolen money. This plan requires split second timing and in a country like war torn Iraq how they managed to get that timing down amazed me! Some of the set up and execution of the plan was both laughable and amazing to watch at the same time. But then again, we've already been treated to some of this beforehand. As the movie goes along it just gets more laughable and more amazing. Unfortunately, something goes wrong and someone dies. The A-team is court-martialed and sent to different penitentiaries to serve their time.

They manage to escape prison with the help of a CIA operative named Lynch who was also there in Iraq. Throughout the movie this became a running joke. But once Lynch helps Hannibal escape, it's like watching dominoes fall as the rest are sprung free to now fight and right that which has been wronged. Over the top action where physics don't seem to matter is the norm in this film. For example, you have a multi ton tank falling from the sky with a single remaining parachute hanging off the back end. In physics we know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Let's shoot off the big tank gun to slow ourselves down so we can survive the landing. While watching it on the screen we go "Cool!" but afterward go "huh?"

If you accept the whole movie with that attitude, it will be a fun movie. If you try to make sense of what is being burned into your retina, you won't have a good time. For the intense action, violence, language and smoking, the movie has a PG-13 rating. I personally think this is a little high. Yeah, there is violence, but it's not like you're seeing blood and guts everywhere. The only skin you get to see is Bradley Cooper's torso and none of Jessica Biel's. If this is a guy movie why don't we get to see more of her? Maybe that would have justified the PG-13 rating!

They left the movie in a place where if it does well in the box office, they could easily have a sequel pumped out in the future. OH Yeah, make sure you stay all the way to the end of the credits. There are a couple of good easter eggs there for you to enjoy.

The Movie Monkey

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