June 23, 2010
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Joe Carnahan came out of nowhere when his film Narc caught everyone’s attention. After some issues with making MI:3, he surprised us again with Smoking Aces. Now he is back with an 80’s film update. It isn’t the best film of the year, but it certainly is a solid popcorn movie. Unfortunately, the combined recent successes of the principal cast won’t make this a blockbuster, having grossed only half of its budget in two weeks. Hopefully international sales will save this from being a black-eye to Fox.
A-Team starts by telling briefly the back-story of the team: how they met, their connection, etc. Then flash forward 8 years to where they are stationed in Iraq, waiting for the next mission. What turns out as them going outside the chain of command ends up a framing for a murder.
The casting has everyone sticking to their strengths. Liam Neeson (Col. Hannibal Smith) is the leader of the team, the pseudo-father figure of the men. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson steps into the role popularized by Mr. T. Everyone seems to be cast based on their previous roles. The biggest surprise is Patrick Wilson (Lynch). I’ve been a big fan of his since Phantom of the Opera. Here he fully embraces the villain role, showing depth I hadn’t seen in him before.
The movie is big and fast, the 2 hours go by without much complaint. It almost goes by too fast. The perfect cameo by another “Lynch” at the end sets it up for a sequel. It may never happen, but these characters are ones I’m willing to revisit in the future. The chief complaint is that some of the plans are shown unfolding as they are being explained. I felt this was a bit of a time cheat and made me feel like they dumbed it down for the audience, which wasn’t necessary because the plot is clear. A summer movie to enjoy, 3 out of 5 stars.