There’s a first for everything and I can now say that watching The A-Team is literally and physically a painful experience. Its like someone throwing you inside a barrel and rolling you down the streets of San Francisco for 2 hours. Whatever 20th Century Fox and Joe Carnahan, the director, were intending for this movie to be clearly didn’t involve the use of any intelligence. The A-Team is the epitome of the atrocious wasteland of remakes and sequels Hollywood has lately been force feeding the moviegoing public. When studio heads scratch their heads and wonder why the fuck people aren’t going out to see their products this summer, The A-Team is the reason why.

Right about now, I usually proceed to give you my readers a short synopsis of the film being reviewed. Unfortunately, I am unable to do that for The A-Team because I have NO FUCKING CLUE what its about and thats probably because no writers seemed to have been hired to write a screenplay. All I know is that there is a group of ex-Rangers who go out on missions for some branch of the U.S. government and they’re hired to get some iron molds used to print U.S. currency from some Arabs. There is also some sort of double-crossing going on between the CIA and some black ops mercenary group and Patrick Wilson is the bad guy. How all this shit fits together I have no idea.

If there is anything positive to possibly be said about The A-Team, its the mostly wonderful casting of the main characters. Liam Neeson plays Hannibal Smith and although you might think he would be the most interesting actor to watch, he’s not. However, I don’t fault Neeson for this. The character of Hannibal Smith is the most boring character because all he really does is create a plan and smoke a cigar. Compared to the other characters, each of whom has a particular skill that can be physically displayed, Hannibal doesn’t really do much and I felt Neeson was restricted by this. Bradley Cooper plays a less douchy version of his The Hangover character as Face. He brings a lot of comedy relief to the film and he spends 1/2 the film with his shirt off, which I’m sure is intended to attract female moviegoers. The best actor by far is Sharlto Copley, who plays Murdock. He’s absolutely fucking insane here and I think he provides the playfulness and bond that makes the team interesting as a whole for the audience. Finally, we have Rampage playing B.A. Baracus, the most famous character from the TV show. To have anyone other than Mr. T play such an iconic character either takes pure balls or pure stupidity. However, I’m happy to say that Rampage really surprised the hell out of me with his performance. He manages to make the character three dimensional rather than maintain the cartoon persona of the TV version. As for Jessica Biel, yeah she’s there and thats all that can be said for her. She has yet to even remotely pique my interest in any role she’s been in and she continues to be mediocre here.

A few months back a poor man’s version of The A-Team came out in theaters, which I saw and reviewed. It was called The Losers. I mildly enjoyed it for what it was. It had much more fun with its over-the-top premise than The A-Team did and as a result, The Losers is more successful in being a fun and entertaining summer popcorn movie. One similarity between these two films, however, was in the strength of its villain character. I thought the best thing about The Losers was Jason Patric as the villain. We have the same thing with The A-Team. Patrick Wilson (who played Nite Owl in Watchmen) hits it out of the park with his CIA antagonist. Granted, I didn’t know what the hell his story was in the movie because I didn’t understand the plot, but he chews up the scenery for what its worth and he comes away as the most interesting character in the movie.

So if the story is nonexistent, what about the action? After all, most people planning to see The A-Team can probably give two shits about what the story is. Summer popcorn movies are all about the action and special effects, right? You’ll be disappointed to know that the filmmakers couldn’t even get the action right. There’s never a single moment where you’re on the edge of your seat and wondering how the hell our characters are going to survive this situation. Every moment is SO over-the-top that all you really notice is CG eye candy, which not even that is really very impressive.

By the way, if you’re wondering why I found this movie to be physically painful, watch it for 5 minutes and you’ll immediately see why. This movie is fast-editing and shaky cam at its worst. Quiet scenes that should have allowed the performances and drama control the tempo are instead cut back and forth with other scenes to give the film a more kinetic feel. Consequently, you never have any moments that allow the audience to catch its breath. As for the action, this was the first time that the shaky cam annoyed the shit out of me. I can tolerate Paul Greengrass’ style for the Jason Bourne movies, but The A-Team takes the shaky cam effect to a whole new and intolerable level. During most of the action scenes you won’t be able to tell whats going onscreen because the camera is all over the place. Filmmakers need to really move on and come up with a new style of shooting action because this shit just doesn’t fly anymore.

For all the money spent on making this film, in the end, The A-Team is a long, boring remake that makes you feel empty by the end of it. There is nothing to remember it by and by the time you get to your car, you’ve already forgotten half of it. So far this has been a very disappointing summer and the outcast doesn’t look very bright over the remaining months of the season. Save your money and wait next week to see Toy Story 3 instead.

Advertisements