The A-Team - DVD Review

'scenes like Murdoch's prison escape and the falling tank sequence are ludicrous, Hollywood-ised versions of the TV series' loosely over-the-top comedy but nevertheless they work'

If ever there's a franchise that was rife to be mined for the kind of big dumb, blockbuster fun that Hollywood loves, then surely it was The A-Team. The TV series that Joe Carnahan's 2010 remake is based upon was all about big boys with big toys having fun whilst defending those that couldn't and ensuring that Mr. T said 'fool' at least once every episode.

At some moments during his effort, Carnahan gets close to the fun of the series. Scenes like Murdoch's (Sharlto Copley) prison escape and the falling tank sequence are ludicrous, Hollywood-ised versions of the TV series' loosely over-the-top comedy but nevertheless they work and as Bradley Cooper woops, Copley howls and Rampage Jackson says 'fool', there's no denying that there's fun to be had here.

Unfortunately, like the kid who doesn't know when to stop pestering his elder brother, Carnahan takes everything a step too far. His plot, which features thirty minutes of unnecessary setup, is too convoluted and feels like something which belongs in a spy movie, whilst his script, co-written by Brian Bloom and Skip Woods, consistently meanders into exposition territory and spends the opening hour having every character calling every other character by their full name, just in case we forgot that we were watching highly bankable, franchise-friendly creations. By the time you've heard someone say 'Colonel Hannibal Smith' (Liam Neeson) for the fifteenth time, you'll be ready to scream.

If little ticks like that don't annoy then the ending surely will. Until that point, main 'is he/isn't he' villain Lynch (Patrick Wilson) had been a smarmy suit with a nice line in sharp dialogue, an attractive counterfoil to The A-Team's own whip-smart smooth talker, Face (Cooper). Come the end though, like a plethora of actioners before it, Carnahan feels forced into placing a gun in his hands and ensuring everything else on the screen blows up. That it's all done in a shipping yard with incredibly badly produced CGI only makes matters worse, sucking any remaining life out of what could have been a charming reboot but is instead a cold, soulless, cash machine.

Look further...

'it takes forty-ish minutes for the gang to get put into jail. By the time they have broken out of jail and become the elusive mercenaries for hire you’ve lost about an hour. An hour.' - CinemaScream


  1. As is my policy with all things--life, movies, midterms--less Cooper, more Copley.

  2. Bad CGI indeed. Meandering script indeed. Too much exposition indeed. Other than some decent banter between the A-Team members themselves, this film did nothing for me.

  3. Smion - ha ha ha! Let me know how those midterms go. Do you sign off each paper as Wikus Van De Merwe?

    Edgar - Yup, yup, yup. Some fun moments and yeah, Murdoch and B.A's arguments were entertaining but other than that it was a very very shallow blockbuster.

  4. Watched it last week, terrible movie. It would have benefited from a lot more action and a lot less talking.

  5. I don´t get it. I never did and probably never will. Why these fucked up remakes? Why? When I saw the first pics of this I thought "Are you kidding me?" I grew up with the series and seeing this was just... wrong. It is so wrong. Screw them and their heartless shit. Whatever, you have a great blog and nice reviews, thank you for that and feel free to visit the one I´m writing for-

  6. Castor - I agree but even the action that was there was occasionally incredibly shoddy - final scene a case in point.

  7. Thanks Sebastian, I'll take a look. I'm not as anti-remake as some people and I think this one was inevitable but yeah, they really did mess it up quite dramatically, especially the first and final thirds.

  8. Didn't enjoy this one anywhere near as much as I had hoped. The final scene was absurd.

  9. Absolutely agree. I big disappointment with a horrible finale.