At the Movies With Peter Travers: 'The A-Team' and 'Karate Kid'


This weekend At the Movies, Peter Travers jumps into the Hollywood time machine back to 1984 with a pair of big budget reboots: the explosion-happy The A-Team, based on the action TV series starring Mr. T, and an updated take on the Ralph Macchio classic The Karate Kid. The verdict: neither film lives up to its original predecessor.

The A-Team director Joe Carnahan assembles a pretty stellar cast — Liam Neeson as "Hannibal," Bradley Cooper as "Face," District 9 star Sharlto Copley as "Murdock" and UFC fighter "Rampage" Jackson in the Mr. T role of "B.A." But fans of the TV show will be turned off by the film's "shoot to kill" mentality.

As for The Karate Kid , starring Will Smith's son Jaden, Travers points out the film focuses on kung-fu and not karate. Despite a decent turn by Jackie Chan in the Mr. Miyagi role previously filled by Pat Morita, The Karate Kid's biggest crime is that it clocks in at a whopping two-and-a-half hours. The original version is a cult classic, however this new version is "predictable formula."

There is one must-see movie in theatres this weekend, and it comes from the unlikeliest of people: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is one of the most "shockingly funny movies" out there now, Travers say. With its in-depth look into Rivers' life off camera, the documentary reaches Borat-levels of comedy. "For those who know Rivers only from her red-carpet interviews, this doc will be a revelation," Travers wrote in his three-and-a-half star review of A Piece of Work. "Rivers is more than a pioneering funny lady who paved the way for the likes of Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman."

Read All of This Week's Reviews:
The A-Team
The Karate Kid
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

The Travers Take Main Next


Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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