In 1983 a crack commando team was on the run from the military for a crime they did not commit… Now 27 years on they get the big screen treatment.
The film starts off from scratch establishing a back story that differs from the original TV series. An obvious attempt to give the characters a nucleus to start from and give viewers (not fans of the original TV series) a clue as to what the A-team is about.
The character development is OK. But struggles to establish who is the lead and who isn’t. The character of Face (played by Bradley Cooper of Hangover fame) becomes the focal point of the film in the final. Yet in the middle quarter Quinton Jackson’s B.A Baracus is the main focus as he struggles with his new found non- violent ways.
Undoubtedly the man with the toughest job is Sharlto Copley who plays Howlin Mad Murdoch. Fans of the original TV series have a retrospective fondness of Dwight Schultz and his H.M Murdoch charcter that usurps the reverence afforded to Mr. T in his pomp as B.A Baracus.
Copley and Jackson lack the chemistry displayed by Mr. T and Shultz week in week out. The greatest disappointment though was Liam Neeson as Hannibal Smith. I was looking forward to seeing him take the lead and really make the role his. He shows glimpses of taking to the m-60, but it never comes off.
The storyline is generic action yarn at best. But the tip of the hat to the original A-Team back story of a robbery of a bank in Hanoi is a nice touch. Here the team has a mission of robbing money printing plates in Baghdad.
There are other subtle tips to the original series such as the other protagonists names. Colonel Morrison and the various Lynch’s.
The biggest bug bear though has to be the need for bloodshed and foul language. I understand how the producers wanted to bring in a new audience. But part of the A-team’s appeal has always been their inability to hit a cow’s backside with a banjo.
The greatest strength of the original TV series was that it never took it self seriously. The film does and that is where it is let down. The producers would have been better off being more self-deprecating.