Will Preston

A hors d’oeuvre until The Expendables come out

by on Jul.21, 2010, under Films, Review

Is this new A Team a bit more...sexier? I can't put my finger on it...

Hollywood has been out of fresh ideas since forever. If a recent film doesn’t feel to similar to another recent film, then a film is made out of an old and loved TV show; which is then molded to feel similar to another recent film. Of course when a new film is made out of a TV show that is over twenty years old, a lot of changes have to be made to bring the idea dragging across the floor into the flashy and iPhone obsessed 21st century.

The thing that defined The A Team TV series was the era of America it was set in: the Regan era. An era where big US guns were perceived as macho dick extenders (with no irony whatsoever) and anyone who disagreed with anything that America thought was great was lambasted as a communist. Who were the ‘bad guys’ back then of course, in case you’re born after 1990.

With big guns and a well outlined enemy, The A Team are pretty much another icon to America prevailing over communism and such acute and unashamed Jingoism, that I feel expected to be shit for simply being born three thousand miles too far to the east. Typical, eh? Of course, the irony sticks out like a pensioner in a nightclub so much nowadays that it’s more than open to spoof. If I were to have made a film on The A Team, it would have been a reckless and self deprecating spoof that outlines how stupid this sort of TV show is. Stupid, but fun.

The filmakers got three quarters of it right in this case.

Now at first, I refused to see this film as the trailer outlined how unbelievably bat brained the film is. And it hasn’t got Mr T in it, which is the main appeal. Why not just call the film something else if you don’t have Mr T in it? Well it wasn’t directed by Michael Bay, which is a thankful save, but feels a lot like he was pawing at the door of the production office at the time of development as he would have felt at home.

Imagine that; Bay pawing at a door like a lost dog.

The film starts of the way most action films start of; moody music and the bad guys being set up. Well not THE bad guys, but some hors d’oeuvre evil Mexicans before the main course, if you will. Liam Neeson taking over the late Peppard’s role as Hannibal Smith was enjoyable from the start. He’s a fine actor and the character is always welcome round for tea.

The rest were a bit sloppy.

Mr T wasn’t playing BA, Face is more of an arrogant prick than the TV series that he just comes off as a bratty twat and Sharlto Copley’s Murdock felt too much like the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin. Thank god they didn’t try to flesh out HIS character. With an occasional Saath Afrikaan accent. The main cast feels more of an exaggerated characiture rather than a good casting job.

From the intro to all of the characters (Murdock using a defibrillator to start an ambulance did make me laugh) the film just gets more silly. The set piece stunts plunge your disbelief rather than suspend it and it’s fairly predictable. A well known scene already is the firing from a tank whilst falling out of a plane scene. It’s silly.

It got so silly that I started laughing at it.

It was at that point that I released this was the point. This isn’t a tongue in cheek action film; it’s bum brained stupid, but knows its stupid to such an extent that it doesn’t even try to explain why it’s so stupid, because doing so would be a lengthy affair. The plot has a few, slightly predictable plot twists, including one big one that I didn’t see coming. Am I stupid, or did some actual effort went into that? There’s a blutacked romantic sub plot and the main enemy is no longer communist’s but an American owned private military company.

The moral of this story? When there’s no one else to blame, start finding ways of blaming yourself! That and the more obvious “Private Military Company’s are bad!” It’s a reckless film in many respects, but goes past the logic barrier to give you an experience so relentlessly brain dead that you start laughing instead of groaning. It’s a Friday night DVD film at best.

Or more suitably, a hors d’oeuvre until The Expendables come out.

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