If you put The Expendables next to this film you can see the many scenes where this movie got it right and The Expendables got it wrong. Neither macho action films are worth celebrating, but The A Team, a remake of the popular 80’s TV Series, uses some fun stuff to tell the story. The editing here is particularly good for an action movie, and that’s thanks to two editors who have worked on films like Terminator, Armageddon and Transformers. The director, Joe Carnahan, has some success with action films like Smokin Aces and the critically acclaimed Narc. Liam Neeson grounds this movie for sure; the recent widower has kept himself so busy he has appeared in more movies this year than I want to go back and count.

The A Team spends half of it's time and skill running from the government and breaking out of prison. The highly specialized group of men are called in through the back door when there is no one else to call. Lead by Colonel Hannibal Smith (Neeson), his brilliant plans, always a step ahead of everyone else, usually keeps the team alive. Lt. “Faceman” Peck (Cooper) is the lady’s man of the group while B.A. (Jackson) is having trouble with his conscious. The wild man of the group, Captain H.M. Murdock (Copley), is typically labeled insane for his wild maneuvers in the air. The Team is being blackmailed for stolen US Mint plates from Baghdad and must hunt down the trader who poses them to prove their innocence.

    From The Middle East to the business district of Germany, to a wild mess at the Port of Los Angeles, The A Team travels the country, and with an astonishing amount of special effects, blows up everything in sight. The script, co-written by Carnahan, attempts to stay true to what fans might remember of the television show. The script also uses recognizable elements from the series, including props like Smith’s cigar, B.A.s mohawk and, of course, the trail of destruction. While I doubt that many of the viewers who helped this movie climb to $77 million at the box office has even seen the original, the remake was still a far distance from its $110 million cost.

     Patrick Wilson (Little Children, Watchmen) makes for a great devious character; his career has led him to a variety of roles, none of which is something you would expect. One of the best scenes in the film is when Wilson’s snotty CIA character is completely dumbfounded by The A Team’s diversion plan; Wilson plays it perfectly. Biel, also no stranger to action films, gets one great line explaining how The A Team is attempting to “fly a tank”. While The A-Team has a small handful of decent moments, it’s still a bubble gum action movie that can be flushed as soon as the credits role and the loud music begins.

    Final Thought – The movie The Expendables wanted to be.

Grade C+

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Michael B. Woody