Sunday, June 13, 2010

The A-Team

The A-Team movie. What to expect... Ultra-cheese? Check. Mediocre/Sub-mediocre script? Check. A radical theme? Check. An abundance of ridiculous situations? Check. The movie has pretty much everything you need to make a good A-Team film. Except for one thing... Good character adaptations. Which is #1. I mean, the characters carried the show. Any true A-Team fan knows that the show really only had 1 or 2, MAYBE 3 original storylines. But the characters are what made it so damn fun to watch. Hannibal always had that devil's smile when a plan was forming in his head. Face always had that doubtful/sarcastic charm. Murdock was just awesomely insane. And B.A. was just mean and black.

Now when casting was done for the film adaptation of The A-Team, I was on the fence. Liam Neeson as Hannibal? I can see it. Bradley Cooper as Face? I could definitely see it (though, I have a dislike for Bradley Cooper), Rampage Jackson as B.A.? Sure, why not. And Sharlto Copley as Murdock? Could have potential. But what I found to be the case after seeing the movie, they casted all of them for physical appearance alone. Because the only characters that were done justice were Murdock and B.A. And with B.A. it's not very hard to cast a mean black man as a mean black man. So really, Murdock was the only character who I actually really really liked. Now whether they casted Copley because of the success of District 9 or not, it really doesn't matter. He did a great job. Copley's Murdock mirrored Dwight Schultz's Murdock pretty closely without looking as if he tried harder than he needed to. His facial expressions were spot on. His line-delivery was spot on. He pretty much worked all around.

Having already covered who DID work, lets get to who didn't work... Hannibal and Face. It pisses me off because I remember before seeing the movie, I was pretty certain that Liam Neeson was going to nail the Hannibal character. But that he did not do, unfortunately. Now I noticed that part of it had to do with script. But I put most of the blame on Neeson. He played Hannibal so stiff. He was far too serious. The Hannibal character was more of a lax Joker, in my eyes. He always had a plan... Even when he didn't. When a plan would go to shit, he would make one up as he went along. He had this devilish charm about him. Liam Neeson's Hannibal was just a raspy-voiced stickler... With FAR too many "plans". And what I mean by that is, the word "plan" would come out of Hannibal's mouth at least 3 or 4 times in every fucking scene. And THAT is what I blame on the script, not Neeson. "It's all apart of the PLAN, kid!", "Ive got a PLAN!", "In every situation is a good PLAN!", "PLAN ahead!". I felt as if Neeson's Hannibal should have done life insurance commercials instead of being a Colonel.

Now on to "Shitty A-Team Character Adaptation #2". Bradley Cooper's Faceman. Or rather I should say Bradley Cooper From The Hangover's Faceman. Okay, I get it, Bradley Cooper can play a good douche bag. But there's one minor problem with casting him as Templeton "Face" Peck... FACE ISN'T A DOUCHE BAG. Yes, he might be conniving, manipulative, and cowardly at times. But he always does so in a gentleman fashion. That's just all apart of The Faceman's charm. Bradley Cooper From The Hangover's Faceman? Just a douche bag. No suave. No wit. No charm. I mean, there's a scene with him shooting from a tank while screaming, "COME ON! GET SOME! WHAT YOU GOT!? WHAT YOU GOT?!". Just shut. Your fucking. Mouth. The only time I recall Bradley Cooper doing anything in the Faceman fashion was when he was trying to get a press pass from a really hot Russian news reporter.

And well, B.A... Rampage Jackson played him black and mean. So I guess that's a plus. Also, I understand this is The A-Team in 2008 or whenever the film takes place. And I understand that you have to adapt the characters in a slightly more modern fashion. But do NOT strip away the character's of their signature traits. For instance, I was fine with B.A. cruising while jamming modern rap music (though, Run DMC would have made it that much cooler). But what I am not okay with is taking a suave gentleman-like character and turning him into a douchebag fratboy. You can go fuck yourself there. All in all I was pleasantly surprised with Murdock and B.A., but majorly disappointed with Hannibal and Face.

And now to the director, Joe Carnahan. I think he did an okay job with this film. The action in this was really fucking stupid, ridiculous, but most importantly... It was fun. And that's what the general consensus seems to be. It's a stupid stupid fun time. Now there were some pretty clever ideas put to film here, but most of it was just ridiculous for the most part. And the CGI in those scenes? Most of it was pretty bad (ESPECIALLY at the end where a bunch of loading containers look like giant falling Legos). But on the other hand, some of the CG wasn't too bad. But there wasn't really any scenes where you couldn't tell what was CG and was was not. A practical effect looked like a practical effect, and a CG effect looked like a CG effect.

The music. I just recently found out that Alan Silvestri scored The A-Team. I love Alan Silvestri, I think he has a lot of talent, BUT... Dude hasn't done anything really good in a long long while! Obviously he'll never ever top his Back to the Future score. It's just humanly impossible. But it doesn't mean he still can't create good music. And that's why I dont know why he hasn't scored anything that was any good as of late. I mean, he didn't do a terrible job with his A-Team score, but it wasn't really that good. The only thing he fucking nailed perfectly was the main theme. You hear the original Mike Post and Peter Carpenter theme at the end of the film, but it sounds almost identical, just bigger. Which I have absolutely no problem with. In fact, I think it sounded really good. But I would have liked to see him add in 1 or 2 newer themes to liven it up with. And if he did, then I didn't notice them.

In the end, it was a cool movie. Nothing great. Just a dumb and ridiculous fun time. I'll probably end up seeing it one more time (this time a little more sober), just to see if I feel any different (for better or for worse). Also, this is a minor spoiler. But for fans of the original series who don't usually stay til the end credits of films, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz have cameos. Benedict's is pretty cool. But Schultz's is fucking hilarious.

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