Written by: Carson McKnight, Special to CC2K
It seems that many movie reviews these days could all start with the same words: “I just saw a movie that took me back to my childhood . . .” Movie after movie is a remake or a sequel of something that came out years ago, and now we can add The A-Team to that list. I don’t want to make you think that I was a huge A-Team fan back when it was on TV. Let’s face it, when it was in its original run I was only between six and ten years old. I came to know the show more in the reruns and even then I don’t know if I ever watched an entire episode all the way through. But that didn’t stop me from knowing the characters. The brilliant Hannibal, the good-looking Face, the crazy Murdoch and of course Mr. T! Oh, I mean, B.A. Baracus. But enough about me, on to the movie. I went into The A-Team with low expectations thanks to a shot in the trailer of Bradley Cooper firing a gun from the top of a tank plummeting through the sky. These images do not a seamless plot make, but I figured it could still be one of those “fun, summer movies” where you can turn off your brain and enjoy big explosions. But I’m afraid the writers put up some road blocks on my trip to summer action film bliss.
First of all the casting of Liam Neeson as Hannibal, is a mistake. Something about him just brings a certain gravitas that audiences have been conditioned to expect but the lines and the character don’t support it. I’m not sure exactly how to explain why his type just doesn’t do it for the character, but I feel like Hannibal needed to appear a little more cavalier and instead he just always comes off as super serious.
Secondly, we have the common problem of plans being over-complicated. In many instances throughout the film we’re supposed to accept that characters KNEW certain things would happen that there is no way they could know. And if those things didn’t happen then there is n way their plan would have worked out.
But these first two things I can ignore to a degree if I try really hard. It’s this third on that really tipped the scales in favor of me not enjoying the film. Mr. T . . . sorry, I mean B.A. has a moment in the film in which he decides that he will no longer be violent. He has accepted the ways of non-violence against others and he can’t hurt or kill anyone anymore. This is a pretty big step for a huge, bruising former Army Ranger. But he is then convinced throughout the rest of the film that violence is OK! This results in him killing the bad guy simply because the bad guy is . . . well . . . bad! This just really struck a chord with me. I hear constantly about people complaining about movies being too violent and most of the time I just ignore it. Let’s face it, it’s fiction. If people want to be violent in fictional settings I think it’s OK. That’s just how I look at it. But to have a character make a change to move away from violence and then be convinced it’s better to BE violent is just wrong. Maybe if he had a real investment in the situation or if his life was in danger and he had to make a choice between his fiend dying on the guy dying, but no. B.A. has the guy at his mercy and shows none. And this was what really put the movie out of range for me. I just couldn’t enjoy the explosions or “cool” action sequences (of which there was only one) after that.
I can’t recommend that you see The A-Team. It really isn’t worth the money or the time. Just watch the old episodes on NetFlix or something. At least it will really be Mr. T.