REVIEW: The A-Team

14 06 2010

I think part of the reasons that few people listen to film critics anymore is because they seem to review every movie expecting it to be “Citizen Kane.”  Such ridiculously lofty expectations have put the trade on the verge of extinction as a profession.  It’s important to have high expectations of a movie as a reviewer and moviegoer, yet at the same time, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

For a movie like “The A-Team,” the most we can expect is some well thought-out action sequences, a decent plot that has the ability to engage, and potentially some character development.  For pure entertainment, it’s fairly successful.  For much else, you’re might be out of luck.

“The A-Team” is no “Citizen Kane” of action movies, but it’s a very different kind of action movie that is a nice change of pace in the nearly homogenous summer market.  The action focuses on the plan, not just indiscriminate shooting and killing.  Many of the sequences weave in the team of elite operations carrying out the plan with them formulating it.  It’s a very cool way to execute the action, and the filmmakers nailed the only thing that was essential for them to get right.

While character development may not be there, character acting is there to make up for it.  Liam Neeson nails the wise elderly sage act as he always does, positioning himself to become the next generation’s Morgan Freeman.  Bradley Cooper took the Jake Gyllenhaal route and got toned for his role in the movie; as a result, he has a confident strut throughout the movie that is definitely aided by his consistent shirtlessness.  But his best asset is still his comedy, and he brings plenty of it to the table here.  Cooper makes the transition from comedy to action with ease, and he always looks like he’s having fun.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson flexes his muscles and looks like Mr. T, which is about all we can ask from a wrestler.  The surprising scene stealer is Sharlto Copley, who most people only know from giving a dynamic performance as Wikus in last year’s “District 9.”  In a complete role reversal, he plays Murdock, the borderline insane pilot for the A-Team.  Copley is a giant ball of energy just rolling around the screen, and it’s actually hysterical.  However, it’s not all thumbs up for the acting.  Although I love Patrick Wilson as a serious actor (particularly in “Little Children”), this movie showed he really can’t do it all.  He really just cannot pull off being a villain.

The movie’s plot is alright, although with 11 rumored writers, you would think they could come up with a story that could do more than set up the well-planned action sequences.  But if I had to choose one thing I really wanted from “The A-Team,” it’s obviously the entertainment and the action, and it delivers from that aspect.  As long as you are expecting nothing more than fun, not “Citizen Kane,” you’ll find satisfaction here.  B /

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8 responses

14 06 2010
Castor

Is this an ugly movie poster or what? They just pasted together four faces and that was it! Glad to hear this isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

14 06 2010
Marshall

It’s definitely one worth seeing – and I’ll agree with you that the poster is a little lackluster.

14 06 2010
Simon/Ripley

Patrick WIlson can’t be a villain? Hard Candy would beg to differ, good sir.

I loved Sharlto Copley in this. He’s the best part. And I must give this Rampage dude props, he actually acted a bit.

14 06 2010
Marshall

Haven’t seen “Hard Candy,” but it’s been somewhere on my list for a while. Wilson was pretty bad here; I could never take him seriously.

14 06 2010
Chantale & Angie

Our thoughts exactly, a fun action film and not supposed to be anything more. Good times…

15 06 2010
Ventilation Shaft

Nice review. I knew this was not gonna disappoint in terms of kick-ass action. Seeing the trailer in cinemas before “Prince of Persia” totally sold me out on this one. It appears to be one of the smarter action fests in a long time (nothing wrong with dumb action fests, but it’s nice to see a change now and again).

24 06 2010
Mad Hatter

Yeah – you’re on to something here when you mention critics being out of touch. Sometimes they seem inable to write about a movie within context…hell take away their thumbs or their stars and they REALLY start to sweat.

When I started watching this movie, I thought about it within context…comparing it to fluff like CHARLIE’S ANGELS or TRANSFORMERS instead of truly classic like TERMINATOR 2 or THE ROAD WARRIOR.

Great post – glad to hear you liked it (oh, and good work on the LAMBcast too!).

15 07 2010
CMrok93

It’s fun, crazy, and wild, perfect movie just for a fun watch. Check out my review here: http://dtmmr.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/the-a-team-2010/ Nice Review!

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