Plan Comes Together For Entertaining Action of ‘The A-Team’

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CHICAGO – “Overkill is underrated.” So says Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) near the end of Joe Carnahan’s “The A-Team” and it clearly was the operating principle for not just the characters but the entire production. With its tongue firmly in its steroid-induced cheek, “The A-Team” is not designed to break any rules or change the action world, merely to offer summer entertainment for two hours and it does precisely that. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

I remember many summer weekends from my youth spent in air-conditioned multiplexes watching movies that were conceived and produced to do nothing more than entertain people angry about working during the most beautiful days of the year and kids who needed a break from their outdoor activity. This summer has been incredibly light on films that feel like honest entertainment instead of products of a soulless moneymaking machine. It seems like it used to be easier to check out of reality for a few hours, eat some popcorn, and leave with a smile.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The A-Team” in our reviews section.

Is “The A-Team” short on character? Of course, and it should be. Too many films like this one have been sunk by producers trying to over-think a property that exists to do nothing more than present cleverly designed and well-executed action. Carnahan, his talented production team, and most of his cast have worked together to create an old-fashioned summer action movie. It’s nowhere near an “A,” but it easily deserves a passing grade.

The long credits sequence of “The A-Team” serves as origin story for how the most notorious team-for-hire came together in the first place. Near the Mexico-U.S. border, Smith is handcuffed in the custody of a few corrupt Mexican cops who nearly feed him to their dogs. After his clever escape, Hannibal crosses paths with the super-strong Bosco ‘B.A.’ Baracus (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson) and the two find unity through their Ranger tattoos before going on to rescue the charming-but-deadly “Face” (Bradley Cooper) from the clutches of a Mexican bad guy. The newly-formed trio hires a possibly insane pilot named Murdock (Sharlto Copley) and “The A-Team” is born.

StarContinuing reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The A-Team” review.

‘The A-Team’ stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, and Gerald McRaney. It was written by Joe Carnahan & Brian Bloom and Skip Woods and directed by Carnahan. It opened on June 11th, 2010. It is rated PG-13.

Bradley Cooper as Templeton "Face" Peck; UFC light heavyweight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Baracas; Sharlto Copley as H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock; and Liam Neeson as Col Hannibal Smith.
Bradley Cooper as Templeton "Face" Peck; UFC light heavyweight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Baracas; Sharlto Copley as H.M."Howling Mad" Murdock; and Liam Neeson as Col Hannibal Smith.
Photo credit: Fox

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