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There’s more action, more adventure — and more attitude — in The A-Team Extended Edition, which includes a never-before-seen version of the film with spectacular added footage not shown in theaters!
Buckle up for an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Sharlto Copley. Convicted by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, a daring team of former Special Forces soldiers must utilize their unique talents to break out of prison and tackle their toughest mission yet. It’s going to take guts, split-second timing and an arsenal of explosive weapons...this is a job for The A-Team.
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I must say, I'm extremely saddened to hear that the movie didn't do well enough in the theater or even on home video to warrant a sequel. I think the casting of the four actors was brilliant and the story line aspired to the best aspects of the TV show. The A Team is a blast to watch. These four gentlemen have charisma and chemistry beyond belief and they really reflect a brotherhood far beyond the stale and 2 dimensional characters created by their TV counterparts. That's not to say the actors in the show were bad, George Peppard alone gave the show an aire of respectability. Dwight Schultz was always in perfect manic form and Dirk Benedict was most likely born for the role of Face. However, the weekly grind of making a show where automatic weapons are fired and cars jump several feet without hurting anyone becomes monotonous after some time.
Liam Neeson is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic actors of our time. No one brings his brand of leadership quality to the screen like he does. So who better to play the cigar chomping Colonial `Hannibal' Smith then him? No one. It's so easy to believe that everyone who meets this man feels like they would help him do anything. That if he asked them to do something, they would do it, no questions asked. Bradley Cooper is a perfect choice as well for Lt. Templeton `Faceman' Peck, the pretty boy, smooth talking `get-anything-if-you-need-it' operator. Sharlto Copley...who is this guy? I'd never heard of him but I have to say, he nailed the role as Murdoch. He brings just the right amount of wackiness mixed with competence to convince us to trust him, despite his `verge-of-insanity' characteristics. Then there's Quinton `Rampage' Jackson playing Bosco `BA' Baracus. Again, another guy I'd never heard of. I'm not familiar with the players in the MMA world but this guy really has something. He played BA with multiple levels of anger and sometimes emotion in just the right places. I was impressed with Quiton and I thought he filled the shoes of Mr. T and then some. The best part is the script allows us to believe these guys are a true working team that plays to each others strengths and helps balance their weaknesses. They're not perfect, but they are smart, competent and with the guidance of their leader, Hannibal, capable of doing almost anything.
The movie chooses to focus on how the four came together and their subsequent story that is the premise of the TV show; being convicted of a crime they didn't commit. The movie starts with a series of events that bring the four together and solidifies BA's fear of flying, for anyone who thought it was strange that BA (a former Army Ranger) would have a fear of flying, this explains it very well. It then jumps forward eight years with the four involved in the middle east conflict after running eighty successful missions and ready to be discharged. Of course, this is where it gets dicey. During a last minute mission designed to avoid political upheaval and bloodshed by a security/paramilitary contractor group, things go very bad. The four are arrested and tried under military tribunal, stripped of ranks and sent to separate incarceration facilities. Six months later they escape with the help of a twisted CIA agent (played by Patrick Wilson) and the chase in on to clear their names. Jessica Beil plays the DOD officer assigned to track them down and stop them. Being a former flame of Face, her character goes in full tilt but later starts to lean toward their cause. Both Wilson and Beil play their parts well as a split of their TV counterparts, Col Lynch and Col Decker. Oddly Wilson's character calls himself Lynch when he meets with Hannibal.
Joe Carnahan is the director behind this gem and I have to say, after watching Smoking Aces, I wasn't convinced he could pull this off. Not that Smoking Aces is a bad movie, but it had it's unbalances and it overdone characters to the point where it was almost cartoonish. But he most certainly did pull this one off. His direction and attention to character interaction as well putting in just the right amount of humor mixed with the more serious tone of the movie makes for a very entertaining picture. It takes the best aspects of the TV Show and works it all together very well. Sure there are a few `Hollywood' moments but they are easily overlooked in the course of the movie. Again I state that it's a shame a sequel won't be made due to lack of revenue but maybe if enough people read this review and trust my impressions, they'll give it a try. If anything, it's a fun movie and at least worth a look.
For Blu Ray fans, the Blu Ray of this movie looks awesome and sounds just as good.
First, the film: the characters are classic and they are true to form for the original versions put on television in the 1980s. Sharlto Copley's performance as H.M. Murdock was particularly enjoyable. The film has the same sense of energy and fun that the series had while upping the ante a bit with the body count. In the original series, it was almost a point of pride that there were only 2 on-screen deaths during 5 seasons. I guess it's a sign of the times that a modern version had to actually kill some of the bad guys.
Some people don't like the film because they say it has plot holes and doesn't follow the "laws of physics." Well, duh! It's an action movie. More than that, it's an action movie based on a cheesy action TV series from the 1980s. That's part of the fun of the film. You don't watch guys fall to earth in a tank because it's real - you watch them fall because it's funny as hell to see them interact. If we watched films for "reality," well, films would be pretty boring. There's a reason films say "based" on true events instead of "here's everything exactly as it happened"...
I recommend the extended version of the film. Not only does it have the 2 extra scenes with Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz that appeared at the end of the credits when the film was in theaters, but it has some other scenes that really build the team rapport. I think it's a better version of the film.
Now, as for the actual product. My DVD (regular disc, not BluRay) has some issues. It skips or gets hung up on occasion, and at the same point in every viewing, the closed captioning will appear on the screen and hang two words there until I stop the DVD and start it up again. I don't know if this is a mass production problem, but it happens no matter what player I try it in, so... I'm in the process of trying to get a new disc.
Unlike "Shaft", which was realistic and well acted, this was a virtual cartoon. Yet apart from some of the ham acting, and many problems keeping my disbelief suspended, everything worked. I *loved* the scene where the German woman giggled when her husband's boat was overturned. Every time I watch the film again, I giggle along with her.
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