From 1983 to 1987, you could always count on George Peppard, Mr. T., Dirk
Benedict and Dwight Schultz as Hannibal, B.A,, Face and Murdock to help an indivi-
dual or a group out of a tight jam as the A-Team- if they could find them and afford
them. It kind of lost it’s “fun” factor when Robert Vaughn was added to the mix- and
the permanent releasing of Murdock. But all in all, it was a good action series.
With Hollywood’s pop culture icon mania (3 D seems to be taking over now)
covering nearly everything from the 50s onward, comes the crazy action packed ver-
sion of THE A-TEAM to the big screen. And thankfully, it sports all the plain, hard
hitting, action packed fun of the original series. Co-written by Joe Carnahan, our
reckless four has been replaced by Liam Neeson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson,
Bradley Cooper and District 9’s Sharlto Copley. The premise is similar, just upda-
ted for the Iraqi War. Instead of robbing a bank, our fearless four are set up in a scam
involving counterfeit engraving plates. Naturally, they are found guilty, sent to prison
and orchestrate a masterful escape hoping to clear their names.
Joe Carnahan is one of a mere handful of directors who could have helmed
the remake of the iconic series. I’m sure his assassin actioner Smokin’ Aces was sump-
tuous fodder for the execs at 20th Century Fox regarding his selection. However, the ab-
solute edgy insanity of Aces is slightly toned down in the A-Team, probably because of
the military aspect. Carnahan definitely wanted to maintain some sort of dignified con
trol. Especially when it comes to a military court and Arlington Cemetery.
Audiences will notice that the script calls for them to suspend their reality meter
regarding to a tank drop and a helicopter flight, all for the express purpose of proving
our “heroes” are as Hannibal puts it, “Unbeatable” and “specialize in the ridiculous”
as affirmed by Captain Charisa Sousa (Jessica Biel).
Of our four major players, I admit the only one I was initially wary about was
Liam Neeson as John “Hannibal” Smith. I was a big fan of George Peppard from the tv
series and Neeson somehow didn’t measure up to the character. Then I recalled how he
absolutely blew my mind in Taken.
Bradley Cooper’s rugged good looks beguiled an attractive stewardess in the en-
semble rom com, Valentine’s Day. If you recall she ogled him every five seconds. As
Templeton “Faceman” Peck he gets a lot more than five seconds from plenty of ladies.
By the way, the above mentioned Captain Sousa is his old flame which creates some in-
teresting and comical scenes.
B.A.’s and Murdock’s hilarious love/hate relationship was another touchstone
that made the tv show so enjoyable. And Jackson and Copley fulfill the roles pretty
well, except that the humorous banter between them could have been spiced up a bit.
They’re more than perfect foils for each others personalities.
I’d be quite remiss if I did not mention the talented and beautiful Jessica Biel. As
Captain Sousa, she exudes military austerity that certainly does not detract her gorgeous
good looks. Although she’s in the difficult position of trying to capture our “fugitives”
Biel always manages to show Sousa’s feminine vulnerabilities.
Bad guys run rampant and it doesn’t take long before Patrick Wilson’s Lynch and
Brian Bloom’s Pike, figure out that they may have set up the wrong individuals. Despite
their best efforts, they soon realize that our resourceful foursome are not easily disposed
of. No matter what’s thrown at them.
There are many fans who understandably believe that some things should be left a-
lone. Notwithstanding, if a movie adaptation can maintain the original spirit of a popu-
lar t v series, there’s no harm done. Joe Carnahan’s The A-Team does no harm.