Even 'The A-Team' can't blow this dud out of the water
From left, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Liam Neeson and Quinton Jackson in 20th Century Fox's 'The A-Team.'
Published Friday, June 11, 2010 6:26AM EDT
"I love it when a plan comes together."
Liam Neeson wraps his lips around that one and a good cigar in "The A-Team." If only director Joe Carnahan could have delivered the goods.
There are just two ways to deal with this loud, long, overwritten remake of the '80s TV phenom that starred George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Mr. T and Dwight Schultz.
If you like subtlety, skip this picture.
If you like badass tanks, wild helicopter chases, exploding cars and cargo containers that blow into the air like Lego pieces, head to the theatre. You've hit the motherload with this mind-numbing reboot.
Unlike the Vietnam storyline of the '80s series, Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson" star in this tale of American justice gone very, very wrong.
Under Carnahan's direction, this whole, crazy mess feels more like 2010 frat boys going berserk in the Middle East.
"Hey man, easy with the antifreeze marinade. The last time you used it I got a touch of Bell's palsy," Cooper's ladies' man "Face" tells the teams' flyboy "Howling Mad" Murdock (Copley).
Buddies through thick and thin, these boys joke about everything -- death most of all.
They eat, drink and lie around the U.S. barracks in Iraq like amused walruses on a sandy beach.
But, when trouble calls these unlikely heroes lead by Hannibal Smith (Neeson) can take down the bad guys. Smith and his boys grab their guns and go to town to retrieve some stolen U.S. currency plates. But, the botched mission gets them tossed in the slammer.
These ad-lib mercenaries set out to clear their names. But their escapades make us dizzy from the noise and dying for Carnahan's bouncing camera to finally stop.
More guilty pleasure than good movie
"The A-Team" is not without its fun moments.
There's the buff Bradley Cooper without his shirt on. Nice.
There's sexy Jessica Biel (Cooper's on-screen "ex"), who struts around bombed buildings in mile-high stilettos. Impressive.
Then there's Copley's over-the-top lunacy as "Howling Mad" Murdock. Hilarious.
Whether he's flying a helicopter, escaping from a mental ward or cooking up lunch for B.A. Baracus (Jackson), Copley steals the rug from under his A-Team buddies.
Despite these momentary blessings, "The A-Team's" overwrought excess and editing gets very old very fast.
With so many villains, good guys, exploding tanks and cheesy one-liners crammed into this caper, this extravaganza leaves your head spinning.
Add in the blurred camera moves and Jackson's incessant mumbling and the only mercy "The A-Team" brings is its welcome end.
This plan might work well enough for Carnahan and anyone else who just wants a badass romp at the movies.
For the rest of us, "The A-Team's" underrated overkill, as the booze-swilling Hannibal fondly calls it, gets a failing grade.
One and a half stars out of four.