Directed by Smokin' Aces helmer, Joe Carnahan, it's big and loud - but is it any good? Find out after the jump... The A-Team (12A)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Sharlto Copley
Director: Joe Carnahan
Running time: 118 minutes
Trailer: Watch it here
The Plot: Based on the 1980s television series of the same name, The A-Team follows Hannibal (Liam Neeson) 'Faceman' (Bradley Cooper) B.A. Baracus (Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley), a group of four Iraq war veterans (Vietnam in the original) as they try to clear their names after being framed for a violent robbery.
What's good about it? This bit is going to be short so let us just say that Sharlto Copley seems like a lot of fun to be around and Patrick Wilson as CIA agent Lynch gives probably the best performance and doesn't seem to be taking it seriously. If you are a fan of attractive people, both Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel look great.
What's not so good? Okay, here goes. The producers are rumoured to have gone through script writers like it was going out of style (it's not, alas) and the film suffers from huge tonal shifts and gaps in logic. The idea is that the A-Team can come up with fantastical plans and execute them to the letter and for this the audience expects to suspend a certain amount of disbelief, it's a dumb action movie after all. But the plans are so intricately random in their nature that it is impossible to go along with. One of their rescue attempts includes getting car number plates that say 'emergency exit' and hoping a character will see this, read it and know exactly what to do. They go over their ridiculous plans with detailed maps and diagrams, every place they turn up at has everything they could possibly need for their crazy schemes and by the time they are falling through the air in a tank you've just about given up.
What's not so good (part 2)? One of the key things about the TV series was that no one dies, this idea goes out of the window here as within five minutes lovable Hannibal has machine gunned a wave of nameless baddy henchmen in the face. At one point, B.A. Barracus renounces violence and tells his friends he cannot kill. The rest of the team are dismayed at this. Dismayed? We're supposed to like these guys but when their buddy tells them he doesn't want to take anyone else's life again they look like kids that just found out Christmas is cancelled. Luckily for everyone, B.A. goes back on his word and sets fire to some baddies and kills a man with his bare hands at the end. Everyone is pleased. The film also contains one of the most offensive depictions of the Iraq conflict so far – apparently it's one big barbecue and everyone's having a great time. This coupled with the numerous loving close ups of the team Army ranger tattoos adds an uneasy sentiment to an already confused film.
Verdict: A mess. The occasional witty one liner is lost amongst the explosions and the nonsense.