Rating: 3 of 5
I have to admit the A-Team is better than I’d given it credit for. Of course it was big and loud and a little funny. Surprisingly, it was also solid with story and characters when I’d expected more excuses for one-lines and caricatures.
The characters from the tv show survived well. Liam Neeson is an exceptional Hannibal. Bradley Copper is sillier than I remember Face being, but he brings more substance to it than just the hero and the charm of the role. I didn’t expect B.A. to be as tough and awesome as Mr. T was and in truth he wasn’t quite that good. But he was good. I liked that his character really got some different directions to go, which maybe I think the tv character had hints of that weren’t fully explained. Either way, several of the characters evolved through the film which was good.
Murdock, of course, wasn’t as good as Dwight Schultz, but really how could he be? But they did the best they could with it – he’s zany and fun and unpredictable but realistic so it works.
Jessica Biel doesn’t have much to do, but she’s not much of an actress so that’s ok.
As a comparison with the tv show – I think it holds up well. It has the same sense of fun, of the cool and innovative plans. They didn’t make it cheesy or campy – because the original show wasn’t. It was the 80s but the show took itself seriously and the movie does too.
It is a bit over produced and over directed, though. There are insert shots we really don’t need, lines of dialog that are just hitting you over the head with the obvious and a handful of flashbacks that the audience really doesn’t need to understand what’s going on. For non-spoilery example, I don’t need Jessica Biel telling a driver to back up. A) I can see the car moving backward. B) what else are you going to do when a plane is driving toward you?
Otherwise, it’s probably the best film version of the tv show we could have hoped for. It’s big and interesting and surprising and fun.