It’s about goddamned time I had fun watching a movie. The Hollywood adaptation of 80s TV staple The A-Team is a laugh riot, and in a good way.
We start it off right, somewhere in Mexico, where we meet Hannibal (Liam Neeson), B.A. Baracus (Quinten Jackson), "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley) and Face (Bradley Cooper) in a completely silly but awesome sequence. We jump ahead 8 years (and 80 successful missions) to the final days of withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, meaning it takes place in the future, I suppose.
The boys are tricked by a barely competent, completely evil C.I.A. agent named Lynch (Patrick Wilson), who dupes them into . . . standing too close while someone else blows up some counterfeit money and the team's commanding general. That someone else is, in fact, the ultra-competent military contractor Pike (Brian Bloom), the first villain since Ledger’s Joker to pose a credible threat to a protagonist. He’s just a great screen presence and actually presents a real menace.
The plot really isn’t worth mentioning, as it’s poorly done and more than a little silly. There’s actually a reveal that’s straight out of Scooby Doo . What is worth mentioning: this movie is freakin' hysterical. At it’s heart, The A-Team is a comedy, but unlike most comedies, things explode a lot. There are scenes that are just sublime in their humor, especially those devoted to making fun of the CIA and their legendary incompetence. Between Pike being a rather scary guy and Lynch being arrogant, yet incompetent in a way we haven't seen since Cobra Commander, their dynamic yields as many laughs as the heroes’ shenanigans.
Patrick Wilson does a fine job as Lynch. He’s the sort of guy you just want to punch in the throat. At one point, he says a video of a building actually being blown up looks just like Call of Duty, which is something a strawberry douche would say.
The action set pieces are absurdly awesome, as well. We’ve all seen the tank falling out of the sky via parachute in the preview, but how they get out of it is a site to behold.
Really, the best part of this movie, much like the Losers, is the characters just being goofy despite their lives being in constant danger. The real fun of this film is the endless string of great lines and the dynamic between the four main players. Even Quinton Jackson does a great job as Baracus, and well, I don’t expect much from MMA guys after the tragedy that was Universal Soldier: Regeneration.
Overall, this movie is worth the price of admission, but only if you approach it in the way it was intended. It is a comedy through and through. Although, unlike the original show, it does have a body count ...the 80’s were, of course more innocent times. Couple this with The Losers, and it's a recipe for a Cavalcade about people who just can’t take being shot at seriously.