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The A-Team a Dose of Badassery

Published June 11, 2010 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
The A-Team Poster The A-Team
The A-Team is the Star Trek of A-Team movies. So they went on missions in Iraq now. It reintroduces wonderful characters in a love letter to original fans and a return of the badasses for a new generation.

Review: The A-Team


The film opens with great visual badassery, really using the image to show us how smooth or tough these guys are. It’s really basic film technique, but I miss it these days. There’s plenty of fancy in this movie, but sometimes the simplicity is more impressive. All four of the leads get dramatic intros.

The quick cutting style seems made for The A-Team. There’s four different aspects to each mission so you’ve only got time to get to the point before you have to show what someone else is doing. They actually do give everyone something to do, so it’s not just “here’s what the star is doing and then his teammates join him.” The multiple elements converge too, so it’s not four disparate scenes hastily jammed together.

Actually, there’s eight different elements they have to cut between, because the action always cuts back to the planning, where each guy explains what he’s going to be doing. That really works well, to see the plan at the same time it’s already being executed. My reference point for that is Bound, but I’m sure it was done earlier. I love <B>Bound</B> though.

The quick cutting also makes the CGI more palatable, because at least they’re going to move on to the next shot before you have to look at that fake one for too long. Stuntmen still get to do cool stuff when you don’t have to see it’s the actors, and when it’s CG, at least it’s in continuity with a really cool action scene so it’s no worse than blue screen.



There’s lots of mini-action episodes, which keeps things moving between the big set pieces. It also captures the feel of a show where there might only be little bits of action this week because they spent all their stunt budget on next week’s cliffhanger. But oh, the planning scenes are so great, gathering supplies and everything. They really have a lot of fun.

The A-Team gives you the four great archetypes of action heroes all together. There’s the nonchalant smooth talker, the bruiser, the crazy guy and the wise badass sage. And Murdock isn’t just harmless cute crazy. He is dangerous crazy, just useful enough to keep around.

It’s got the catch phrases, you see the van and the Mohawk so everything’s there. There are a few modern references like Lil John, Blue Man Group and Braveheart, but they’re actually funny so way to update The A-Team. They even manage to say MF twice, bleeping out the R-rated part with an explosion.

I even go for the spiritual message of The A-Team. There’s always a plan. Even if things are bad, it’s not over yet. Ultimately, we win. If we’re not winning, then it’s not over because when it’s over, we will have won. These poor guys have to stew in prison for six months thinking about it. We get to cut to the good parts.

The plot makes as much sense as any James Bond film, which is to say I take their word for it. I mean, the villain couldn’t look any more corrupt but look, I’d be more upset if they tried some artsy fartsy BS and it didn’t work. Stick with the classics, evil government corruption. I think they make one really stupid choice with B.A.’s character, but it doesn’t ruin anything and it’s just a matter of opinion, so maybe I’m wrong.

The A-Team is the perfect summer movie. It really is this summer’s Star Trek. It’s fast paced, thrilling and fun.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox
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