Tuesday, June 15, 2010


So...The A-Team is out. Did you all know that? Oh right, massive marketing campaign and all. Was probably tough to miss. So, anyway, it's out. That's really the best thing you can say about it.

The A-Team is the kind of movie whose defenders tend to scold critics who make fun of its plot. The reason they do this is because those critics rightly point out that it has a stupid plot. The only way to justify a stupid plot is to have action scenes so incredible, jokes so funny and characters so cool that they make you forget the fact that what you're seeing defies not only common sense but several scientific laws. The A-Team does have its moments and is better than I thought it would be but it also has stupid moments that almost always involve poor quality CGI and thus it gets the grade I gave it in the title.

The opening scenes are pretty good. It's an extended "Who they are and how they came to be" sequence in which Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) and B.A. Barracus (Quinton Jackson), two Army Rangers, just happen to meet in the middle of the Mexican desert while Hannibal is on his way to rescue his comrade, Faceman (Brad Cooper) who got caught having sex with the wife of a corrupt Mexican general. Thanks to incredible luck and coincidence that was all supposedly part of Hannibal's master plan, they hook up with a clinically insane pilot named Mad Dog Murdock (District 9 actor Sharlto Copley) and manage to lure the general into U.S. airspace. They're so successful that they remain an elite ranger unit for the next eight years in which they gain a reputation as fearless patriots, a reputation that is promptly ignored when they get framed for stealing some plates that can be used to print counterfeit $100 bills and for the murder of their commanding general. They then escape prison to prove their innocence.

So far, so good. I've seen humor, action and likable characters as well as a trademark from the TV show in which they cobble together they heavily armored gear they'll need to complete their mission. They even tossed in Jessica Biel as Faceman's ex though the movie is criminally lacking in any gratuitous underwear or shower scenes of her. The movie starts to fall apart during the last half which is chock full of really bad CGI scenes. I talked yesterday about how much I loved The Karate Kid's decision to actually shoot in China instead of having Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan stand in front of a green screen in Burbank and saying, "Ooh lookie, the Great Wall sure is big." The last half of The A-Team, however, is mostly shot inside some guy's Macintosh and it looks it.

The A-Team is all right, I guess. It's neither wonderful nor horrible though it does teach us that we should all pity fools so I suppose it's worth seeing for that reason alone.

No comments: