Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
So, I never watched much of The A-Team as a kid when it was a television show, but I know the theme music, I sort of know the characters, and I liked Mr. T. Well, in a weekend full of 80s flashbackswhich is in a season of 80s flashbacksThe A-Team is just about exactly what I imagine the TV show was, only with bigger explosions and different actors. In a summer full of the usual exploding wanna-be blockbusters (Killers, Knight and Day), The A-Team in feature film form will probably end up ranking somewhere n the middle.
Hannibal (Liam Neeson), Faceman (Bradley Cooper), B.A. Baracus (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson), and crazy old Murdock (Sharlto Copley) have assembled together and become one of the USs best fighting forces, but when theyre framed for a crime they didnt commit and have to go on the run to both save the world AND return their own good names, they face off against the ambitious and recently demoted Lt. Sosa (Jessica Biel) and a whole literal army of folks looking to take them down and bring them in.
The best thing about the latest in a long string of 80s revamps making their nostalgic way to theaters this summer is that it seems to really embrace the feel of 80s action. They throw in over the top explosions, goofy punch lines and jokes, and characters that are more than a little cartoonish being put in situations that make only vague sense pretty much for the sake of seeing them cleverly maneuver out of them. None of this is necessarily a bad thing, though, given that the whole narrative of the 80s action film (and television) genre was that exact tried and true formula. And it worked, fortunately, for the most part, and if thats what youre in the mood for watching, it still does work. The action sequences are plentiful, Murdock is especially funny (though Im still quoting the best line of the whole thing, B.A.s, You cant fly a tank, fool!), and all involved seem to be having a heck of a good time.
Of the bad is that, for one, if youre going to do 80s action cheese, you gotta have 80s cheese romance, and that whole Face/Sosa thing with Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel never goes anywhere. Also, villainy is key, and while Patrick Wilson and Brian Bloom especially have their memorable moments, the bad guys shift around so much that theres nobody to boo loudly and cheer when he gets blown to smithereens. This kind of flick NEEDS a cartoony big bad, and thats definitely lacking.
But heckits summer! Have some fun, watch some gunfire, and enjoy the AC in the theater while revisiting some old friends from the 80s.
It's Got: Face and Murdoch cameos, Fun, A useless Jessica Biel
It Needs: A Mr. T cameo, Better crime than stealing money plates
Alternatives:Charlie's Angels, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Transformers
Summer is the time for mindless blockbuster shenanigans, and though it’s not a classic or anything, The A-Team revamp is good at what it does and much better than Killers.