Friday, June 25, 2010
Knight Rider, MacGyver, Thundercats, Dennis the Menace, Masters of the Universe, Perfect Strangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are just a few of the long list of television shows that held my short attention span as a child. The A-Team was another show that caught my attention primarily because Mr. T was one of me and my friends’ favorite idols. He was strong, mean looking, wore a lot of very heavy jewelry, and a Mohawk. I didn’t know many black people that wore Mohawks back then but we thought it was very, very cool and “I pity the fool…” was our most used quote when addressing each other. Wow, memories; anyway, Hollywood has chosen this show to be the target of their latest T.V. remake.
The A-Team consists of four members: Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson), their “Boss” and plan put together-er; Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper), better known simply as “Face” who is the master of disguises for the team; Corporal B.A. (which stands for Bosco Albert as well as “Bad Attitude”) Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), the muscle and fool-pitier; and Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley), the teams certified insane pilot. They are all either ex-military or currently enlisted. With the exception of Hannibal and Face, they meet by chance and successfully complete a mission that the two were currently working on. They stay together and pull off many memorable missions for the next eight years while serving in the U.S. Army.
They are presented a near impossible mission of acquiring a case of U.S. mint money templates that are used to make U.S. currency. Even though their commanding officer strongly advises them against it, they accept the mission but find themselves framed for the murder of their same commanding officer and the disappearance of the plates that they just recovered. They are tried in a military court and found guilty of their accused crimes. The rest of the film has them trying to find the people that framed them and clear their names with an Army Lieutenant (Jessica Biel) trying to find them and put them back in prison.
Like all of the other remakes made lately, especially the ones based on originals that I remember thoroughly, I planned on putting this film through the ringer in terms of whether or not it deserved to share the same title as the original gem from my early 80’s childhood. In short, I feel that it does. It does a great job of blending high octane action with humorous comedy that will keep you entertained throughout. The special effects used added excitement to the action scenes without going too far over the top. A scene that has them trying to fly a tank is somewhat hard to believe but very fun to watch.
The actors do a great job at resurrecting the on and off screen camaraderie between the characters that was presented in the show. They will do anything for each other and you can tell that, even without them having to say it. They have something more between them that goes deeper than their military past but forms more of a brotherhood like they are a family. The chemistry between them that still has B.A. wanting to kill Murdock and the rest of them all following Hannibal’s lead is spot on with the original television show. Another aspect that Director Joe Carnahan made sure to include, much to my delight, was the A-Team’s knack for creating unheard of devices and using unorthodox schemes to get the job done.
As an 80’s baby, I approve of this version for the new millennium. I only hope other old guys feel the same way. I give The A-Team “four plans that come together out of 5”.
Murdock – “If you wear the 3D glasses it looks like we're being shot at.”
B.A. – “We are being shot at you crazy ass fool.”