Review: The A-Team

bill bodkin reviews the film adaptation of the popular 80s action series

It’s not easy to adapt a popular television show to the big screen. It’s also not easy to steer a tank that’s plummeting to the ground. Yet, somehow, some way, the A-Team manages to do both.

The trouble with television adaptations to the big screen (you already know how difficult the whole tank in the air thing already is), is that you have to walk a fine line between honoring the spirit of the show (especially one that is beloved by millions) and putting your own, unique spin on it.

With the A-Team, not only has director Joe Carnahan honored the redblooded “you gotta be kidding me” action and goofiness of the original series, but has jabbed the virtual adrenaline needle to the heart of the series, amping the action and the comedy to pitch perfect levels.

Let’s be serious folks, the A-Team was never a cerebral look at modern society. It was goofy, fun, thrilling. It was the television version of a cheeseburger — always delicious, always fun, always reliable.

In essence — it’s a perfect summer movie. And sadly, a lot of people are going to sleep on this one. Action movies, outside of the epic realm, are not as popular as they once were. Combined with die-hard fans objections to the casting, Mr. T publicly protesting the violence of the film (even if it is PG-13) and the show not being relevant to the pop culture minds of young audiences, the box office receipts and general buzz aren’t terribly high on the film.

I say forget everything you’ve heard and go have some fun at the movies.

And this movie is terribly fun and it shows on-screen. Much like the first and third Ocean’s movies, you can tell the cast is legitimately having fun with each other breaking chops and shooting big guns. The comedic bickering of BA (Quintin Jackson) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley) is exploited for more laughs than the series ever made of it. This is an amazing achievement since this is the first film for Jackson and the second for Copley.

As for the rest of the cast, Bradley Cooper adds some frat-boy charm and wildman bravado to the role of Face — a completely different interpretation of Dirk Benedict’s cool, calm and collected original role. Liam Neeson, the amazing actor he is, turns down the cornball camp of the original Hannibal and brings an air of intensity, perfectly balancing out his three co-stars.

So I say grab a bucket of popcorn, buy yourself a sack of candy and a big soda to boot, then strap yourself into your seat because you are going to enjoy one of the most fun summer popcorn movies of the season!

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites