The nametag on the judge advocate that renders judgment on The A-Team says "Carnahan", after director Joe Carnahan.
Remakes or reboots of 80s franchises rarely work out the way that I'd like them to. Garfield comes to mind as a horrible representation, as does the Knight Rider TV series. When Transformers came along, I wasn't expecting much but I sat there, wide-eyed like a child, staring at the screen as if the robots were actually in the room with me. Then came G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Transformers had my hopes high (though Transformers: Rise of the Fallen pretty much took all of that goodwill away). G.I. Joe was a disaster. The movie took itself too seriously and was based off the lesser read comic rather than the popular cartoon.
The A-Team trailer looked promising. It looked like they weren't going to take themselves too seriously and they were going to embrace the over the top unrealistic action that made the series the staple that it was.
The A-Team is fun, action-filled and purposely hilarious. The movie opens with Hannibal (Liam Neeson) in an impossible situation, moments from his death. The scene is funny and continues Neeson’s badassness that he attained from 2009’s Taken. From that moment on, the movie doesn’t let up. Though it doesn’t stick ironclad to the original series plotlines (no Vietnam here), it stays close enough on all the important aspects, including Hannibal’s “sticking to the plan” calm demeanor, Face’s (Bradley Cooper) ability to charm just about anyone, B.A. Baracus’ (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) ability to be, well, Mr. T and Murdoch’s (District 9’s Sharlto Copley) completely insane and often comic-reliefing hilarity.
Copley’s Murdoch shines as the standout in a movie filled with near-perfect casting, while Cooper’s Face comes in at a close second.
The movie rarely falters and it succeeds in a way that so many that came before it failed miserably to do, and that is to thoroughly entertain. Director Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) is quickly moving up and taking the reigns of a great action director left empty by the crumbling of Jerry Bruckheimer's empire. If you are a fan of The A-Team, if you are a fan of action, if you are a fan of comedy or if you are just a fan of having a great time, do not miss The A-Team, it has become the unexpected most entertaining movie of the summer.