In a year filled with ensemble action movies, The A-Team was surely the one with the best known back story? Maybe that didn’t do it any favours. While many of us loved the series, at the time, countless repeats and plenty of piss taking later meant there were concerns about it transferring to the big screen.
Would the new actors be able to pull off the old characters? Would it feel like a sad pastiche? Would we accept the new faces in the old roles? Would they be bogged down by the memories of countless episodes in which no one gets seriously injured, not even the bad guys? Would a modern audience accept the ludicrous solutions the team are well known for?
I’d heard mixed reviews about the film before sitting down to watch it – and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Someone I know said ‘do they expect us to believe this shit?’ Well, my answer is no, they don’t. They know it’s unbelievable, but they don’t care. If you want to enjoy this movie you’ll take the step and willingly suspend your disbelief. If you have no intention or ability to do that – then the director isn’t interested in trying to entertain you.
The A-Team tells the story of how the famous four get together, the crime they are supposed to have committed and the attempt at clearing their own names. It’s a contemporary set-up for the series, a prequel, and as such a very clever decision. Just another long episode would have been harder to pull off, but giving us the start of the story in an up-to-date setting worked very well.
The actors take on the roles without ever really trying to do second rate impressions of the previous team, for which I was quite grateful. There’s a moment early in the movie where they crush BA’s van which is almost a statement from the director – yes, these are the same guys, but no, this is not the same cheesy 80’s series.
From that moment the action ramps up and we are led through a series of chases, captures, and betrayals that get us to the defining moment – when the team must break out of prison, prove their innocence and save the girl.
It’s funny, it’s totally entertaining and it’s entirely insane. It’s everything that was good about the A-Team without the 80’s cheese, instead, it brings along the 80’s vibe and the 80’s good feeling. There’s clearly room for a sequel, and I’d quite happily go and see it.