Updating the service background of the fugitive war vets from Vietnam to Iraq, Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces) goes full origin story on us. Because as much as the team loves it when a plan comes together, audiences love it when a team comes together, right? So we have an introduction demonstrating Hannibal's cleverness, B.A. Baracus's ass-whooping, Face's cocky womanizing and Murdock's howling mad insanity.
The extreme coincidence of these former Army Rangers coming together is explained away with a philosophical Hannibal-ism regarding fate. It's almost as if Carnahan is flat-out telling viewers not to take anything too seriously and enjoy the ride for what it is.
With that mentality in place, The A-Team is a pretty darn fun and knowingly ludicrous ride. Though fairly reverent to the original series, the cartoonish violence now comes with a body count and Face's seductions are a little steamier, but none of it's overtly graphic.
A couple major homage points are checked off early on: Baracus pities a fool with his knuckles, while recovering the classic black van to a brief vamp of the iconic theme music. Murdock is sprung from a military psychiatric ward just in time to give the crew an insane helicopter ride that births Baracus's vehement fear of flying. The whys and whos of the team's framing are serviceable, but secondary to the fun these characters are having on screen.
Neeson is excellent in almost every role he plays, so no surprise there. Bradley Cooper, however, is perfectly cast, committing his most likable and lively performance to date. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has the most thankless task, filling Mr. T's Mohawk, and considering his day-job as a UFC fighter, he may actually be too credible a performer to capture T's stone-faced ridiculousness.
The team's ace in the hole is definitely Sharlto Copely, in his first post-District 9 role. Utilizing a plethora of accents, Copely is often hysterical and always the most enjoyable personality on screen. Patrick Wilson is also surprisingly effective as a cocky, geeky FBI douche.
The A-Team often descends into implausible hyper-cut action madness, but this is a movie where they attempt to fly a tank, so sit back and enjoy the charming ensemble cast running wild. (Fox)
ReviewsJul 31, 2015
Bikes vs CarsFredrik Gertten
The battle between bikes and cars is a fight most people probably don't even know they're a part of (unless you side strongly with the forme...
ReviewsJul 31, 2015
Mission: Impossible – Rogue NationChristopher McQuarrie
Somewhere along the line, the makers of the long-running, Tom Cruise-starring franchise Mission: Impossible decided to stop creating uninten...
ReviewsJul 30, 2015
Best of EnemiesMorgan Neville and Robert Gordon
Given how easy it is to turn on any of the countless news programs and find two pundits from different sides of the aisle screaming over eac...
ReviewsJul 29, 2015
Turbo KidFrançois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell
Turbo Kid follows a lonely, scavenging young man (Degrassi star Munro Chambers) fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic Canadian wastela...
ReviewsJul 29, 2015
VacationDirected by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein
There's something strangely comforting about the transient nature of a road trip comedy like Vacation that tosses off its comic set pieces w...
ReviewsJul 28, 2015
Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission ImplausibleJavier Fesser
Mortadelo y Filemon (known to Anglophones as Mort & Phil) are beloved Spanish comics characters. First featured in 1958, it was a comic book...
ReviewsJul 25, 2015
The Big Lebowski Live ReadOlympia Theatre, Montreal QC, July 24
Few caper comedies have captured a true fan base quite like The Big Lebowski. There have been countless festivals and theme nights since its...
ReviewsJul 23, 2015
Like so many of Adam Sandler's recent comedies, it's hard to figure out who the intended audience is for Pixels. A silly trifle that would h...