Did you struggle along with the film version of ‘The A Team’? Me too. In between a raft of explosions and corny humour, there were a lot of flat moments.
The problem isn’t made any better by the fact that Liam Neeson looks out of place as John ‘Hannibal’ Smith. Quinton Jackson lacks Mr. T’s ability to shift in and out of Ranger BA Barakus tough guy mode. Thankfully they managed to get it right with the other two characters: Bradley Cooper as Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck and Sharlto Copeley as Howling Mad Murdock.
Coming up to end of a long war in Iraq, special activities operative Lynch invites the A-Team to undertake a mission involving counterfeit money on Baghdad. Their goal is to get the plates; timing is everything in a carefully drawn up, premeditated plan. General Morrison authorises the mission despite the pleas of DCISC Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel) not to.
Any wrong move and…well you know how it goes. Nevertheless, the mission is a success but the car is blown up, with the general and money inside it. Cue to a sequence of similar events. A crack commando group is sent to a military prison for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escape. Sosa also finds herself on trial and gets demoted.
Much like the brilliant TV series of the same name, this is a film directed by guys, written by guys and acted (mainly) by guys. Maybe if all the noise and explosions happening had some more meaning to it, I would have been more enjoyable. The film needed more than that. On some occasions it did pull it off, such as the moment when Murdock is rescued from the mental hospital.
As talented as the main cast are acting wise, they couldn’t save face. Even when Sosa gets hot on the trail of The A Team, she barely seems to do more than raise an eyebrow in excitement. Although why would she? Most of the time, her culprits walk directly into a perilous situation or a highly exposed public space. The team moves hard and fast to try clear their name of any wrongdoing and you can occasionally feel the characters’ angst of facing an impending arrest. Sadly, most of these events are hard to follow. There is just one cut scene after another, without any explanation.
If you must see this film, take some form of caffeinated beverage with. It may help keep you awake in the long stretches where you are trying to figure out what exactly is happening.