Here's the thing, Hollywood action movies have become parodies of themselves. This has been apparent to me since at least the late 90's when Michael Bay's Armageddon drenched every possible frame of film with the most expensive scenery and effects money could buy at the time.
So it's of little surprise that Joe Carnahan's A-Team is an over the top, over-adrenalized hyperbole of a movie. It's also a hell of a fun time. More an amusement park ride than a movie, Carnahan has managed to take the fun shenanigans of the popular 1980's sitcom, slick it up and inject it with steroids to the point where you could believe a tank could fly. In short, The A-Team is "The A-Team" on crack.
Many people will complain about its rapid-fire editing and its lack of character depth, or that it seems like it's more of a trailer for itself than an actual movie, but if all you're in the mood for is exploding things, well, Michael Bay has some competition here. As director Carnahan said, "If you don't like a tank flying out of a plane, then you just don't like summer movies."
And isn't that what summer movies are all about now? Who can be the biggest, loudest, most ridiculous movie? When does fast editing become too fast? When do explosions get boring? When does the violence become too violent? The sex too sexy? Clearly summer movies cater to pubescent young lads fresh out of school for the season. And as we all know, Hollywood is a sucker for easy money. Well, the A-Team should do just fine.
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copely and Rampage Jackson do a good job of channeling their television counterparts. Ask any teenager about the original cast and they'll probably respond with "Dirk who?" Yeah, that's a shame, but time moves on, and certain careers don't. At least you can find Mr. T defending himself on The O'Reilly Factor against accusations of being a homophobe in the latest Snickers commercials. Basically, what I'm saying is that at least this new version of the A-Team honors the old TV series, and maybe, just maybe some of the youngsters that crave this new bombastic version might end up fans of the old show.
Jessica Biel adds some sex appeal to the mix, though nothing in this PG-13 affair gets any hotter than a kiss on the lips. The plot is pretty convoluted, but it's on par with the ins and outs of Iron Man 2, so I think the kids won't have too much trouble. Oh, and did I mention that things blow up?
Carnahan doesn't tell an intriguing tale of deception and rogue heroism so much as demonstrate how good he is at setting the screen on fire. Take for instance the scene where Hannibal and the gang find themselves in a tank at 30,000 feet, plummeting to the earth as the planes that just shot their cargo carrier down now come after them. After a quick dogfight, the Team uses the tank's turret gun to nudge the falling vehicle to a more desirable location, then slow its descent, so they may land unharmed. Sure, it would never happen in reality, but now you're forgetting why you're at the movies. There's no better time than a recession to show people ridiculous crap like this.
[video url="http://www.moviefanatic.com/videos/the-a-team---sizzle-reel/" title="The A-Team - Sizzle Reel"] [/video]
In a nutshell, The A-Team is a shell of The A-Team, but in the most loving way possible, complete with a hail of bullets, high explosives, babes and a flying tank. Just the way America likes it.