Sunday, 19 May 2013

The A-Team DVD Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom and Skip Woods Based on the Television Series Created By Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell
Directed By Joe Carnahan

Genre
Action, Comedy

Cast

Liam Neeson as Hannibal
Bradley Cooper as Face
Jessica Biel as Charissa Sosa
Quinton 'Rampage' Wilson as  B.A. Baracas
Sharlto Copley as Murdock
Patrick Wilson as Lynch
Gerald McRaney as General Morrison
Brian Bloom as Pike

Certificate 12

Synopsis

Starring Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) and Liam Neeson (Taken), The A-Team is an all-action blockbuster from the director of Smokin' Aces, Joe Caranahan.

The A-Team follows the exciting and daring exploits of John "Hannibal" Smith (Neeson), Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Cooper), Captain "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley - District 9) and Sgt Bosco "B.A." Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson): renegade Special Forces soldiers framed for a crime they did not commit. Going "rogue," the team must utilize their unique talents - and eccentricities - to clear their names and find the true culprit.

Also starring Jessica Biel (Valentine's Day), The A-Team is a thrilling reimagining of Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo's seminal eighties TV series, featuring epic set pieces and some of the most insane stunts ever seen. If you love it when a plan comes together, then make sure you add this incredible action film to your collection.

Special Features
  • Audio Commentary With Joe Carnahan
  • A-Team Theme Mash Up Montage

Review

'The A-Team' is an seminal 80's television full of cheese, fun and action so when they announced that there was going to be a movie version, I won't lie but I was majorly excited.

Then I started seeing some of the television spots and trailers and I just wrote it off as a bog standard action flick that is so popular with the movie makers in Hollywood.  It just looked like every other action movie out there and because of that it slipped from my mind.

Recently I saw the movie on DVD cheaply so I figured that I would give it a shot and seem if it was as standard an action movie as it looked.

I have to admit that I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the movie itself.  Is it a perfect movie?  Not at all, there are a few things that I didn't like.  Was it the version of the television series that we all remember?  No.  So what is it?

Well, what we have here is the television show we know and love but on steroids.  Big time steroids.  After drinking a hell of a lot of coffee.

Liam Neeson does a good job as Hannibal, exuding an air of authority that the character needs.  OK, he's not as good as George Peppard in the role but did we really expect him to be?  His version is a bit more of a cynical version of the character and I think that was what the movie itself needed.

We also have Bradley Cooper being, well, Bradley Cooper.  He's smarmy, cocky and, to be honest, superb as Face.  He had that womanising charm that was needed for the character without it coming across as slimy or smarmy.

Quinton 'Rampage' Wilson, an MMA fighter in his first movie role does an OK job as B.A. and he's sure as hell no Mr T but at times, I wasn't really sure what he was going for in the character.  It just seemed like a watered down version of the character we remembered and at other times he just seemed like a  random character taking from any action movie that  you've ever seen.  It's the same with Jessica Biel.  Her character just seemed so dull when compared to the rest of them that she was quite forgettable.  That wasn't really helped by her really monotone and wooden performance.  I wasn't expecting an Oscar winning performance from her as I don't really rate her that highly as an actress but the completely monotone and deadpan way she delivered her lines annoyed me slightly when she was on the screen.

However, this movie most definitely belongs to one man and that is Sharlto Copley as 'Howlin' Mad' Murdock.  I honestly didn't think that anyone would ever come close to the sheer lunacy of the Dwight Schultz version of the character but Copley comes pretty damn close.  His lines had me in hysterics through out the movie and it was honestly like he was the love child of Schultz and Jim Carrey yet he managed that without being annoying.  This movie was made by Copley's performance.

The rest of the cast play their parts well, especially Wilson as  Lynch and that helped to raise the quality of the movie much higher than I thought it would be.

One of the things that bugged me about the movie was the special effects.  Some of them looked absolutely amazing and then others looked rushed like they had ran out of time to clean them up.  It was the same with the tone of the movie.  One minute it was action packed comedy and then it was dead straight action movie.  It was almost as if the movie didn't know what it wanted to be.

Other than that, the movie is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than I honestly thought it would be.  There are some great moments in the movie and also a nice cameo from the original Murdock himself, which was a nice touch.  If you want an action movie with some hilariously funny moments then you could do a hell of a lot worse than this.  However if you want the 'A-Team' that you remember then you would be better off renting or buying the television series itself.

Movie 3.5/5
Picture 4/5
Sound 4.5/5
Special Features 3/5
Overall 15/20

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