Arts 1090

Published on June 12th, 2010 | by Greg


The A-Team — 80s Pop Nostalgia in 117 Minutes or Less

The A-Team theme song. Music so iconic I am immediately brought back to the 80s with its washed-out television screens and cigar-smoking TV heroes. That a mediocre TV show I happened to adore as a kid was remade into a movie — much less one with an awesome cast — baffles and astounds, but still piques my nostalgia radar to the point where I was seeing it no matter what.

The original A-Team lasted about 5 seasons of explosives, mayhem and a black van crashing in on the scene to save the day. I don’t remember a single episode. Perhaps there was a plot or overarching structure, but I somehow doubt it. I am also reasonably sure I never want to go back and see another episode, because really, who wants to be made aware how painfully cheesy the things they used to think were cool were?

Perhaps true to the original, the plot was a jumbled mess of complicated heists. Only the characters in the movie seemed to know what was going on, and sometimes not even then. The editing and shots are truly dizzying sometimes and there are way too many close-ups in this film. If you go, I’d recommend sitting in the back row. Maybe a further-back view on the situation would have provided the perspective needed to make this film make sense.

For a true camp flick, the cast was surprisingly well chosen. Liam Neeson, who was most recently a badass in Taken, plays the old and wise Hannibal, running the game and having faith in his team. Face is played by Bradley Cooper of Hangover fame and provides most of the charm and personality in the film. Sharlto Copley from District 9 plays the mad pilot Murdock. And the Mr. T replacement — I believe the character’s name is Baracus, but he’ll always be Mr. T to me — well, that may have been the weakest casting choice. The relatively unknown Quinton Jackson plays the part right, but he’s attempting to replace a once-in-a-decade iconic personality. I’m sure it’s been said before, but I pity the fool who tries to replace Mr. T.

The cast makes use of their charismatic personalities for some reasonably hilarious banter. Though, surprisingly, my favorite character was not part of the A-Team, but the CIA operative played by Patrick Wilson from Watchmen. This guy is fast becoming one of my favorite dark-edged actors and the scene between him and one of the hired guns was one of the funnier and more memorable scenes.

Really, besides Baracus being afraid of flying and Murdoch being batshit crazy, this could have been any war movie. Perhaps the greatest thing this movie borrowed from the 80s was that war movies don’t have to have a point or deeper meaning. They can just be good camp fun. Now, on the next list of remakes: MacGyver, anyone?

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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