Directed by Joe Carnahan
My expectations for this film were woefully low. But (be) low and behold, (as no actual saying goes) because I ended up enjoying this film a lot more than I ever thought I would.
A similar experienced happened to me earlier this year with “The Losers”. I expected absolutely nothing going in, and came out overly amused. This is just one of many things that “The A-Team” and “The Losers” have in common. In fact, even the final action pieces both unfold in what is essentially, the same location. (Though I think one is in L.A. and the other Miami.) Basically, “The A-Team” is “The Losers” on steroids and with another 50 Million dollars in its budget. It’s hard for me to decide which film I ultimately ended up enjoying more, but I would say that they are both on equal ground, and are in a pretty neck and neck race for second place as far as best action movie of the summer goes. (“Knight and Day” is number one – so far.)
What makes “The A-Team” work so well is the casting. Liam Neeson is, without fail, always fantastic. There’s a reason Nolan chose him as the man who trained Bruce Wayne. Cause he’s the shit. Bradley Cooper, whom I have always wanted to dislike but never actually gotten around to doing so, is perfect as Face, as is Sharlto Copley as Murdock. Even Rampage turns in an impressive performance as Mr. T. (He is playing Mr. T, right?) All of these casting choices allowed Carnahan to work off of the chemistry of his main cast and improvise. You can tell while watching the film that while most of it is probably scripted, it’s the little moments of obvious improvisation that makes the movie gel. It also helps that the story moves along pretty fast, and though its twists and turns are rather obvious, the well choreographed action scenes make up for most storytelling shortcomings. The final action scene alone is absolutely ridiculous in terms of scope, though some of the special effects did look a little dopey.
Overall, like I said, it’s hard to go wrong with Liam Neeson. Ever. He’s smoldering. And Jessica Biel is… well, also smoldering, but in a way that I like a little bit more as far as all that smoldering goes. Check it out. It’ll entertain you.
Oh, and “What’s he trying to do? Shoot down our planes?” “No, he’s trying to fly that tank.” is a frontrunner for best line of the year.