So who would you get for the job – The Losers or The A Team?

The tagline is ‘problem solved’ and it’s true – but you have to ignore all the other problems they cause in executing the task.

Getting the A Team to do a job is like asking your SAS buddy to clean up a messy house only to come back an hour later and find it’s been demolished.  Another analogy to describe how the A Team work is: chemo and cancer – chemo gets in with all guns blazing to knock out the bad cells but the collateral damage to the good cells is monumental.

In this feature film re-make of the 80s TV series, the Alpha special ops Team is headed up by Liam Neeson whose acting is up to speed but his physique for the action stunts required – is not.  Even with his shirt on you can see his special ops body could do with a few special ops.

I loved the Blackwater reference – in the movie, this dark and sinister unit is referred to as Black Forest (not the cake).  And like Blackwater in real life, this unit is not under military jurisdiction cos they are a private army with a private agenda.

Fans of the TV series may be disappointed to never hear BA Baracus’ signature line in the film.  I ‘pity the fist’ as an image just doesn’t cut it.  And making BA a pacifist might be politically correct in this day and age but that’s not what we want to see from this iconic character.  And – where’s the mess of gold chains?  I pity the fool who made these decisions.  In the TV series, Mr T played BA like Arnie played the Terminator – limited range of acting, but strong, punchy and reliable like a McDonalds burger.  But now, they’ve reduced our beloved BA from a Bad Ass to Bugger All.

Jessica Biel as Sosa is so-so. 

Stunts – this is an action lover’s wet dream.  I pity the fool who didn’t get enough wide shots of the action sequences though because it feels like too much of a cheat to simply use fast cuts, mid shots and close-ups when the audience needs spatial awareness of what’s going on with establishing master shots.  That’s filmmaking 101.

But on the upside – the stunt work poses and answers the big question – can you fly a tank?  And also proves that one man with one hand cannon can go a long way in life.

Some of the dialogue is very funny (‘I’m sweating like a whore in church’) but some is so melodramatic, you wonder how the final draft got through the 4 scripters who are actually A grade writers.

If you get your rocks off seeing lots of glass shattering – and I do – then you’ll really get your jollies watching this film.  There’s more smashed glass than an Aussie pub brawl (pre-plastic cups, of course).

And scene-stealer Sharlto Copley plays Murdock in a role that Harry Dean Stanton would have owned in his day – and he even looks like HDS too.  This guy is my favourite character in the movie and what an actor.

Bradley Cooper got buff for the gig of playing the smarmy charmer and pulls it off.  (I mean that in every possible sense of that phrase.)

Nice to see a C130 gets some air time – it really is the way to travel and if you ever get the chance to take a ride in one – grab it.  It sure makes flying fun again.

The mission – who cares?  Did they care?  Do we care?  No good answer to these questions – it appears director Joe Carnahan decided it was more fun to spend a lot of dough on frat boy fun and blowing stuff up.  And he did real good in these areas.  This is all high quality action genre fodder – even the CGI-d climax which is on a spectacular scale. 

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm’s gets a cameo that may mean something in the sequel – more than likely to be titled The A+ Team and hopefully won’t be a B grade movie with a C grade script or D grade direction. 

Does The A Team get an A or an F?

Depends what the F stands for.

RenATeam Brarackus