“The A-Team” full of sound and fury

Remake's target audience won't remember the original

| Jun 30, 2010

Scene from The A-Team
The A-Team is based on the television series of the same name that ran from 1983 to 1987 on NBC-TV, except that the war references have been updated from the Vietnam War to the war in Iraq.

In other words, its target audience of teenage boys hadn’t even been born when the TV series was running, and the teenagers who enjoyed the TV show back then are in their 40s now and probably way too old to enjoy this tired, old retread of a knockoff.

The movie opens “Somewhere in Mexico,” and the leader of the team of renegade soldiers of fortune, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, played by Liam Neeson, escapes death by dogs and travels “Somewhere Else in Mexico” to rescue Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, played by Bradley Cooper.

Face is tied up inside a pile of tires by the Bad Mexicanos, and when asked how he is doing says in his characteristic manner, “I’m living the dream!”

In the meantime, B.A. Baracus gets his customized van back, which means something only if you are familiar with the TV series, and, of course, “B.A.” officially stands for “Bad Attitude,” but we all know the initials stand for something else.

And speaking of initials, the three of them find their fourth member in a hospital as usual, he is the pilot of the team, his name is H.M. Murdock, and his initials stand for “Howling Mad,” because he either is or isn’t.

At this point, the movie turns into nonstop action and a nonstop attempt at humorous jokes, what every teenage boy thoroughly enjoys.

Then we are told that it is eight years and 80 successful missions later, Jessica Biel shows up as Capt. Charisa Sosa, she has a history with Faceman, but they haven’t seen each other in three years, and she claims that her fondest memory of Faceman is of leaving him.

And the main plot of the movie begins, which is for the team to stop a counterfeiting operation in Baghdad and which involves double-, triple-, and quadruple-crosses.

Of course, Hannibal’s catchphrase, “I love it when a plan comes together,” gets some mileage, too.

Now, I hesitate to use a reference from Shakespeare to talk about this movie, but I will.

The A-Team is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but a waste of time.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”


“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.