Lex Petros: A-Team: Soldiers of Fortune

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A-Team: Soldiers of Fortune

(Click on the movie poster for the movie website)

"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team."
A true 80's tv series aficionado will never forget that voiceover introduction.

When it comes to remakes, I treat them with such circumspect but with A-Team, 2010 it was 2-thumbs up! If I had another hand it would be 3 without batting an eye lid! A-Team 2010 truly rose to the occasion and delivered a 2-hour action-packed, hilarious and thrilling ride true to its form with the 1983 series.

It's like Star Trek on last year's summer blockbuster release. Fast paced and fun. Certainly a must see movie!

A-Team stars Liam Neeson (as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith), Bradley Cooper (as Templeton "Face" Peck), Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (as Corporal B.A. Baracus) and Sharlto Copley (as H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdoch). Jessica Biel plays Capt. Charisa Sosa from DCIS, Face's love interest.

In 1983, A-Team was distributed by Universal Television and during its 3-year run, it reached its peak with 40 million viewers. The tv series was always over-the-top and outlandish which for me did the trick since each episode was only about 40 minutes. The late George Peppard (original Hannibal) and Mr. T (orignal B.A.) are still very much remembered. Who can forget Dirk Benedict (original Face) who also is Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica tv series and Dwight Shcultz (original Murdoch). Dwight Shcultz and Dirk Benedict have came appearances in A Team 2010.

I think the formula for success lies in the characters and their homage to the old A-Team. Certain elements can never be done away. How can A-Team fans picture an A-Team movie without "I love it when a plan comes together" Hannibal line and "Shut up fool!" B.A. banter with Murdoch . I was very appreciative the producers did not change the fantastic four's iconic GMC van, still black with the hallmark red stripes and spoiler. Some things you just can't take away when it comes to remakes lest you crave catastrophe.

The ingenious plans and cheating-death-tricks up their sleeves will leave you glued to the silver screen. Realism is not the key to A-Team but a perpetual "win-win" scenario. Even when you don't have a plan, you have a plan. This underlying foundation stones were and is laid in A-Team.

Of course, some would beg to differ; so I've read. Some fellow bloggers and columnist have accused A-Team of absconding from any slight trace of reality and too over-the-top, but if Steve J. Cannell could not only produce but successfully produce such success from an outlandish series, I fail to see why that formula would not work on the silver screen. Online film critique Rotten Tomatoes settled with this consensus: For better and for worse, Joe Carnahan's big-screen version of The A-Team captures the superficial, noisy spirit of the TV series.

Regardless, the spirit of the original 80's version lives on with A-Team 2010. I see it as a tribute to good ol' action adventure entertainment as it was back in the days, unlike the mindless, unimaginative and boring permutations we have on cable tv today.

In the 1980s, the A-Team were relentless pursued by Colonel Lynch. In this 2010 remake, Lynch is no colonel but some pansy CIA agent. The name "Lynch" will be repeated numerous times in the movie and even at the finale, a new twist to the name "Lynch" ever provokes suspicion that the likely sequel will also involve "Lynch". Don't get me wrong, the plot was excellent. Hannibal's boys must always be pursued by the US government to make the franchise work, no matter who the instrument of pursuit is.

So, it if you have a problem and there's no one else can help then maybe you can go watch.. A-TEAM!
  • It may be a little long, but stay until the end credits finish rolling...


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