Excellent or not, the original is different from the movie. The first members of the team were a part of the United States Army Special Forces have now been modified and are members of the United States Army Rangers with similar shoulder tattoos evidently to make it more appealing to a younger generation. The veterans of the 20-year-long Vietnam War are now updated to Iraqi war veterans.
If you could piece together several of the elaborate explosion scenes from Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice,” the seemingly impossible tasks in Brian De Palma’s “Mission Impossible” and the government corruption and dishonored soldier in Antoine Fuqua’s “Shooter,”” then you get Joe Carnahan’s The A-Team.” While this flick follows the cookie cutter formula of what makes the typical action movie, and you will have a sense of what will happen next, you won’t care, you’ll be too busy having fun. In spite of the predictable script, “The A-Team” was a pleasant surprise and is definitely the team to beat. Simply put, once you are able to fly a 70-ton military tank in mid-air, the sky remains the limit.
With nothing but successes under their belts, it is easy to see why they would be the victims of a government cover up that involves counterfeit money and printing plates. They actually fall victim to a three-fold conspiracy involving individuals of two private sectors of law enforcement and their fellow soldiers. They are discharged from the Army, arrested under the charge of murder and convicted and have to serve their sentences in separate military prisons throughout the world. The team then needs to come together and clear their names, which is easier said then done. It is a shame that the new norm for military action movies is the insertion of corruption from the government that they protect everyday. It is a welcome relief that there are still a few, honest men and women out there that hold true to the ideals of America, which is easy to see from these stellar cast.
Liam Neeson’s portrayal of the cigar-smoking Colonial John “Hannibal” Smith was spot on. He has proved time and time again that he is an amazing leading man. Hannibal’s character was an incredible display of leadership even in death, twice. Sharlto Copley as Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock was compelling yet hilarious at the same time. Murdock is the team resident mad man and also a pilot who can fly almost anything with precision. A helicopter and a hostile criminal in a parachute are the equivalent of a baseball and a mitt for Murdock.
Bradley Cooper has managed to popped out another great performance as First Lieutenant Templeton “Face” Peck, a true swinging bachelor from beginning to end. The group’s ladies man was also the go to guy for all of the necessary supplies for their missions. The on-screen chemistry between Face (Cooper) and Captain Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel) was undeniable. They were able to pull off a believable couple. The two were an on again, off again couple that seemed to their emotional lines crossed through the movie.
The biggest surprise came from Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and his portrayal of Master Sergeant Bosco Albert (“B.A.”) Baracus. Although this is not Jackson’s first role in front of the camera, it is his first real moment as a leading man who was brought to the sliver screen flawlessly. B.A. is the only member of the team who is not a commissioned officer in the army, but his expertise and life experience brings a lot of realism and second guessing to the missions at hand. In the end, he’s always out ranked.
All in all, while Jackson and company were unable to knock the audience out completely, they do more than hold their own on the battlefield. Behind a solid-enough plot and killer special effects, it is a great way to start off the summer.