‘A-Team’ remake: big on action, but too many crooks

2010-08-23 00:00

THIS movie adaptation of the 80s television series of the same name has all the ingredients required to keep its audience interested for 117 minutes. You needn’t have been a follower of the television series to enjoy the film.

We are given a look at the A-Team’s inception when group leader Colonel Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), Templeton “Face” Peck (Bradley Cooper) and B.A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) bump into the apparently mentally unstable helicopter pilot, Captain H.M. Murdock (Sharlto Copley), and use his skills to escape from the local authorities.

The plot sees the four military veterans framed for a crime that they didn’t commit and do whatever it takes to clear their names with the United States military.

Johannesburg-born Copley (District 9) provides a South African interest and he shows his world-renowned ability of using many different accents throughout the film, including the rather humorous Afrikaans accent we heard from Wikus van der Merwe in District 9.

There is an ongoing love/hate relationship between Murdock and Baracus.

Baracus’s child-like fear of flying is something that seems to amuse Murdock and it provides some of the many light-hearted and, yes, funny moments in the film.

The film relies on its action scenes (and there are many) immensely. They are large-scale and often leave you with that “yeah right” feeling.

Helicopter chases, flying a tank as it falls to the ground bound to a parachute, and dodging copious amounts of bullets and explosions all contribute to a fast-moving series of events.

The boys and girls in special effects have done just about enough to pull these scenes off, though at times there is a sense of the unnatural as the computer-generated imagery becomes a tad too prominent.

The quartet’s ability to shrug off death-defying situations gives this A-Team their hero status.

“Face” is the star player for the A-Team. He is far too sure of himself and even a little sexist.

He provides the film’s romance, though, with a series of emotional confrontations with Defence Criminal Investigative Services Captain Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel). The love affair develops in intensity throughout the film.

The film certainly does have it all — action, drama, romance and the humour.

At times, it becomes a little unclear as to what exactly is happening and it seems that there are too many villains: the Iraqis, the CIA, the U.S. military; it becomes a little congested and we aren’t sure who we are supposed to hate.

This becomes clearer, though, when CIA Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) emerges as the film’s main villain. A showdown involving Lynch and the A-Team is inevitable and provides one of the film’s highlights.

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