The A-Team, four Vietnam veterans who become Robin Hood type mercenaries in Los Angeles, was one of my favorite ‘80s TV shows. The show consisted of saving the day from bad guys while dodging a hail of bullets and bombs while being hunted by the Army for a crime they didn’t commit. The shtick was despite all the explosions, no one got hurt. They would dust themselves off and walk away.
The movie, which is more violent than the television show, uses the same high-octane gags punctuated by plenty of loud explosions, firefights and car chases. It’s everything action movie fans can handle in a summer popcorn-munching movie.
The plot is petty much the same as the television show, save for the fact that it’s been updated. The movie A-Team, now Iraq veterans, are wrongly accused for counterfeiting, and stealing engraving plates from Iraq bad guys who are attempting to print $100 bills.
Fans of the television show will appreciate that the film’s characters have the same names and same traits of the original cast. Bradley Cooper as Face-man the team’s smooth-talking con-man and appropriator. Sharito Copley stars as Howling Murdock, who has been declared insane and resides in a Veterans Administration mental institution. The filmmakers take time to explain how the A-Team met, and why BA, an Air Bourne Ranger played by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, is afraid for flying. Liam Neeson takes over of the role of A-Team leader Hannibal Smith from the late George Peppard, whose catch phrase is, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Of course Hannibal’s plans work perfectly from attacking a heavily guarded Iraqi convoy carrying millions of American dollars, to mid-air dog fighting with a falling tank. Admittedly, the filmmaker suspended Newton's Law of Gravity for this sequence, but hey, it’s The A-Team.
Many critics have panned “The A-Team.” I pity those fools, because “The A-Team” isn’t about acting. It’s about explosions and car chases, and taking a film on it’s own terms.