Published: 29 July 2010
by DAN CARRIER
THE best bit in The A-Team always occurred at the end, when they built a Scrapheap Challenge-style machine.
And while there could have been more of B.A. Baracus welding bits and bobs together, and there are certainly not enough baddies being knocked spark out by a cabbage-firing rocket launcher, this long-awaited cinematic version of the 1980s smash hit TV series manages to regurgitate the best bits successfully for a new audience without being too much of a cranky pastiche.
This time, the four outlaws, crack soldiers who were found guilty of a crime they did not commit, are no longer Vietnam vets. Instead they served in the Iraq war, and the story focuses on the theft of some printing plates held by generic Middle Eastern baddies that would allow them to run off $100 bills. The A-Team have to get them back – and unravel a nasty conspiracy that brings in shady figures from the military, the CIA and those private security firms that made a proper killing in Baghdad.
A word about the cast: Liam Neeson has to step into the not inconsequential shoes of George Peppard as Hannibal Smith. Boy, does he do well – he brings just the right amount of menace and charm to it. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson reprises Mr T’s career-defining role, and, again, brings enough new stuff to the table to make it not feel like a bad impression. Bradley Cooper as Face simply has to look nice while perhaps the most inspired piece of casting was getting Sharlto Copley to take on “crazy” pilot Murdock. Copley was incredible in last year’s surprise hit, District Nine, and has cemented his credentials with a super show this time round.
The plot wobbles about a little, but let’s face it, you aren’t going to see an A-Team film for the storyline – you’re going to watch for B.A. making an egg-powered go-kart that can fly.