From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The A-Team - C+

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking, 117 minutes

Energetic but overdone "A-Team"

It's nice having not one, but two 1980's remakes in one weekend. "The A-Team" remakes the cheesy, iconic '80s TV show that made Mr. T famous, while "The Karate Kid" remakes a hit 1980's action movie. "The A-Team" the movie rides on the easy charm of the TV show while also standing on its own two legs. The story's a little wobbily, but it's filled with enough humor and action set pieces that it may be easier to forgive the fact that underneath all the explosions there isn't much to go on.

The story follows the adventures of four U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers-turned-mercenaries, including: Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), their charming leader; B.A. Baracus (wrestler Quinton "Rampage" Jackson); handsome ladies man Lt. Peck (Bradley Cooper) and of course the wildly crazy Murdock ("District 9's" Sharlto Copley). The team is arrested and jailed for robbing the Bank of Hanoi, but they were set up by renowned criminal Pike (Brian Bloom) and are branded war criminals. After managing to escape from military prison, they set out to find Pike to set things straight and become heroes again.

"The A-Team" is a fun-filled, action-packed adventure that's really one extended action set piece. Those who don't care much for explosions won't care much for the overlong film, either and the cheeky self-aware humor grows tiresome after while, but it should please fans of the serious, who've had to wait nearly 25 years for this to get to the big screen. The film, directed by "Smokin Aces" Joe Carnahan, is harmless and bloodless enough to please the masses, along with a handsome cast, particularly Cooper, who spends a lot of time shirtless, and Jessica Biel, added to include some female power in the mix.

Neeson grounds the film well (but we still miss George Peppard), Copley steals scenes as the imbalanced Murdock, though Jackson has big shoes to fill trying to impersonate Mr. T. He does OK on his own though it's unnecessary to add "fool" in Mr. T form after each sentence. Mr. T could pull that off but Jackson, a professional mixed martial-arts wrestler with limited acting abilities, is less than memorable. Watch closely for a couple of brief cameos from Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict, who appeared in the original series.

"The A-Team" movie, much like the TV show, comes together predictably in the end, a little messy, a little scattered and far too long for something like this. "The A-Team" is a forgettable but likable action-movie that'll do well for a bit, and then be gone quickly.