If you don’t like Joe Carnahan’s big-screen adaptation of The A-team, you have no soul. It is big, dumb and stupid. It full of explosions and ludicrous CGI. But it has more heart than a thousand Transformers movies, and it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It’s incredibly funny, and whenever I am at my lowest ebb, this brings a big, stupid grin to my face. Yes, it’s over-the-top. Yes, at times it makes no sense. But the original TV show was exactly the same!
I guess the only upside to the fact a sequel wasn’t greenlit was that Carnahan went ahead and made The Grey instead, which was not only one of the best films of 2012, but also one of Neeson’s greatest-ever performances. Still, there is always a 0.01% chance a sequel could be made, so I remain delusionally hopeful, and state the case to you all why it deserves a sequel.
8. The Team Chemistry
Maybe it’s because I was not brought up with the original show, but in my mind the superb ensemble were actually better than the original line-up. Quinton Jackson surprised me, Sharlto Copley is one of the best rising stars of the last 5 years, and both emanated their characters perfectly. Bradley Cooper gets better with every film, and I can’t imagine anyone else but the legend that is Liam Neeson as Hannibal. Cooper is cocky and charming enough to pull off Face, and Neeson brings enough grit and gravitas with a twinkle in his eye to create a lovable reinterpretation of a character made so memorable by George Peppard.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was surprisingly good- a De Niro he is not, but considering they got some MMA cage-fighter, they could have done a lot worse. Nobody thinks of B.A Baracus when they think of the original show, they think of Mr. T- the chains, the Mohawk and the catchphrases… Jackson actually inhabited the role of Baracus and made him a character in his own right, which is to be applauded. And what an entrance he makes! Granted, the whole “I found religion in prison and I can’t kill anyone” was a little hamfisted, but at least it gave the character an arc, and the payoff when he takes down Pike and reveals the return of his Mohawk is worth it.
Sharlto Copley, truly one of my favourite rising stars who’s set to go stratospheric this year after near-misses in Men In Black 3 and I Am Number Four, was inspired casting.. Whoever suggested he play ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock deserves a pat on a back. Granted the accent could be a little patch at times, but you can’t imagine anyone else having so much fun and understanding the role as well as Copley. You could have got the likes of Jim Carrey (though I am a fan, I shudder to think how grating he would have been…)
In all, nobody feels miscast, and they gel perfectly. Even if you think it’s stupid or boring, you’ve got to admit that everyone looks like they had a hell of time making this. If I was able to appear in one film, forget The Godfather, I’d want to be in The A-Team to spend time on set with this bunch. Something like The A-Team lives and dies on the team chemistry, and this is strongest factor of the movie. So frankly, I’d see a sequel purely to hang out with these guys some more.
This article was first posted on January 10, 2013