When I worked at the cinema in the early 90’s, there was talk going around that an A-Team movie was in the works, this caused me and my work colleagues to come up with our own story and cast for the movie. (We had a lot of time between screenings and didn’t want to watch Mr Nanny for the twentieth time!)  The cast I remember was Hannibal: Tommy Lee Jones, Murdoch: Jim Carrey, Face: Matthew Perry and BA was Michael Clarke Duncan. Not a bad cast for the time, but nothing came of the proposed film and it disappeared into production hell. Over the following years the rumour kept popping up then last year it suddenly got the green light, with Boyz In The Hood director John Singleton in charge, an odd choice but hey it’s gonna finally happen. As with it’s previous form this fell apart but before we could give up hope of ever seeing the van on the big screen Narc director Joe Carnahan took his place and production began, the A-Team was coming!

  So who are making up the soldier of fortunes in the 2010 version, well a bit different to my old one!  In the Hannibal role is Liam Neeson bringing some gravitas to the film. Fresh from his success in the Hangover, Bradley Cooper, plays the ladies man Face Templeton. In the role of Murdoch we have the star of my favourite film of last year, District 9, Sharlto Copley, who when they announced was taking the role I thought was such a great call, he was a prefect choice. Obviously the most famous member of the A-Team was BA Baracus, played by the iconic Mr T in the Tv series, so who was big enough to fill those huge boots?  Quiton ‘Rampage’ Jackson!  Who?  Yeah that was my thought when I heard him announced. He was a UFC fighter who has now turned to acting.   Making up the supporting roles we have Jessica Biel as Sosa, one of Faces ex conquests who is now hunting him, and Patrick Wilson as the CIA spook Lynch.

   The plot sees Hannibal and the team, who are brought together in a fun pre credits sequence in Mexico, sent on a mission into Baghdad to capture some stolen US treasury Mint plates and a load of counterfeit money. Obviously it doesn’t go well and the A-Team are ‘sent down for a crime they didn’t commit’.  After a vist from Lynch, Hannibal and the boys are on the run trying to find the plates and clear their names. What follows is a fun action adventure including a flying tank sequence!

    The original tv series was all about the chemistry of the cast as much about the story and cabbage rocket lanchers, and the film follows suit. As the leader Neeson is perfectly cast, pulling off the ‘plan comes together’ lines with no irony and with the level of repsect from his team that he probably got on set. Bradley Cooper is great and is the man on the rise, coming a long way from when I remember him in Alias, he has Face’s character down perfectly as the ladies man but also serious soldier.  Filling Mr T’s shoes was always gonna be a big ask and Jackson tries his best but he lacks a bit of the charisma that the TV BA had, though his chemistry with Murdoch is just like the old days.  Which brings me to Shalrto Copley, as I said earlier, District 9 was my favourite film last year and that was due a lot to his performance as Wikus. As  Murdoch he is totally spot on, he is just brilliant, very funny making me laugh nearly everytime he said something and as mentioned he plays off Jacksons BA so well, you want to see more of them riffing.  I really hope they do another one so we can see this cast together again.  Jessica Biel’s not bad as the Army lieutenant hunting them down and has a reasonable chemistry with Cooper. Patrick Wilson plays the CIA man Lynch with the right amount of arrogance and menace.

  Just like the TV series the action is very OTT, but thats what you want from an A-Team film, too serious and it wouldn’t have worked. There are things you haven’t seen in many action films before, a few coming from Murdoch’s unique flying style.  My only criticism is that whoever was in charge of the sound mix needs to boost the vocal track a bit as in some sequences all the bangs drown out what they are saying, and the banter was what i enjoyed the most.

  Overall, I really enjoyed the film, it had a great mix of action and comedy something thats hard to get right and even thought the plates storyline wasn’t the strongest, the chemistry of the team held the film together with Sharlto Copley stealing the film easily. Lets hope that somebody has another job, that nobody else could help them with, and that they can find them, so that they can call ‘The A-Team’

Rating 7/10

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