Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Produced By: Stephen J. Cannell, Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Alex Young
Written By: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods Original TV Series: Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Lupo
Starring: Liam Nelson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel
In my time, Iíve seen quite a many trailers that have got me lapping up for various movies. Die Hard 4.0, Casino Royale, Transformers 1 and 2, Gamer, The Hurt Locker, the list goes on. Of course most of the time the trailer is better than the movie itself, which is in a way understandable Ė after all the point of the trailer is to show a peak of the greatest parts of the movie, edited to look even more interesting. When you look at the trailers, and compare them to the movie itself, you may realize that the movie wouldnít even work if it was done like in the trailer.
Except for Gamer, if the movie wouldíve been done like the trailer was it wouldnít have probably been so horrible.
The latest trailer that has oddly pulled me towards the theater was A-Team (Expendables doesnít count because it isnít out yet), remake for the great 80ís action series. Naturally I went and watched it.
I refuse to believe that someone hasnít even heard about A-Team or doesnít know what it even basically tells about, but Iíll still give you a short brief by routine. US Army Special Forces alpha unit, a.k.a A-Team, is sent out on a unofficial mission to retrieve treasury plates Saddam has used to print US currency from Iraqi insurgents before a private military firm Black Forest. The mission is successful, but as the general that authorized the mission is killed by Black Forest, the mission becomes illegal. And whatís even better, Black Forest steals the plates while escaping. Set up, the A-Team is charged for the illegal operation and sent to military prison, from where they however escape and hunt down the plates and the Black Forest. And, of course, CIA is involved in all of this.
Immediately as the action starts, I can see that the director Joe Carnahan has obviously become a mainstream action director right as he is put to do something as big as this. Like his director colleagues, Carnahan uses way too many quick shots from different angles while putting the camera way too close to the action. This results in the action scenes becoming an awkward mass of, well, something moving around the screen. Most of the time you really canít tell much of whatís going on until everything is already over. This is a very common problem in many action films, and even though this isnít meant to be much different from the other big budget action movies with lots of shooting, explosions and action, after seeing Smokiní Aces I was expecting Carnahan to be even a bit different from the usual style. Well, you really canít expect such things from these movies.
Later on, to be exact after the team has been imprisoned, everything becomes a step less messy. Although most scenes still suffer from this problem, some are actually easily watchable and you donít have to think too much to understand whatís going on. The CGI special effects are nice, although they look too much like theyíve been made with computer, and the stunts are good and well coordinated. Overall itís pleasurable to watch the action, and the scene with the falling tank Ė really makes you feel youíre right in the middle of it all. In the end the movie loses a bit of its tense when the Baysplosion level is reached and things start to blow up in a ridiculous tempo, but hey, itís the end fight, the conclusion of the movie. I guess that is the time for Ďíbudget spenderíí, the scene where they burn out the last bits of the production money by blowing shit up.
Actor choices are in my opinion fine, I couldnít have thought of anyone better for any role, except of course the general lack of Robert Patrick. The acting is through the line from decent to very good, but problems occur in many emotional parts. The drama parts are done with a huge amount of clichť, and it seems the writers havenít found anything new for the characters to say besides the usual, hundred-times seen. This leaves the characters thin and empty outside action, and many plot twists considering the change in the characters are very, and I mean ridiculously predictable. This, however, doesnít hide the fact that the acting is good and everyone seems to fit their roles well.
Understandably the most expectations were directed towards Quinton ĎíRampageíí Jackson, who takes Mr. Tís role. Mr. T was one of those things which made the original A-Team so good, and some didnít think Quinton has even nearly the same attitude as Mr. T ever did. Someone may disagree with me, but I think he succeeded very well in replacing the old T. Quinton is full of attitude needed for a huge, awe-inspiring black man, and for the fact that he is actually a MMA fighter, his acting is great. Points go home.
Other thing worth mentioning is the excellent cutting. The movie has absolutely no unnecessary or too long scenes, but everything happens in good pace and the story doesnít jam in any parts.
In conclusion, if you can stand for the awkward directing and thin drama, A-Team is a good if not great summer movie. Itís nothing unforgettable or revolutionary, but still worth your money. It has fine acting, nice action, working story by the excellent cutting, and Rampage. As the ending credits rolled out with Tom Morelloís awesome edition of A-Team Blastoff Suite, I really felt I had seen something worth my time and cash. A-Team is a decent action film, that doesnít have to be shamed along with itís bigger brother.
Check it out, foo.