.

The A-Team

Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel

Directed by Joe Carnahan
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
June 10, 2010

It's big, loud, ludicrous and edited into visual incomprehension. But pity the fool who lets that stand in the way of enjoying The A-Team, the super-caffeinated movie version of the series that ran on NBC from 1983 to 1987. Mr. T, who starred on the TV series as B.A. Baracus, reportedly thought the PG-13 movie leaned too hard on the violence and sex. Today's audience, hard-wired to the bloodlust of video games, would laugh at the TV ballets that managed to kill no one. Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin Aces) doesn't so much direct as shamelessly show off his skills at blowing shit up. But his affection for the crass material is undeniable. The actors follow suit.

Peter Travers reviews The A-Team in his weekly video series, "At the Movies With Peter Travers."

Liam Neeson steps in for the late George Peppard as cigar-chewing Army Ranger John "Hannibal" Smith. Bradley Cooper has the looks and impish humor to overshadow Dirk Benedict as Templeton Peck, the Face Man. South Africa's Sharlto Copley (so good in District 9) channels Dwight Schultz's manic energy and then ups the ante as pilot Howling Mad Murdock, and mixed martial arts champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson brings the bling and the bluster as  the Bad Attitude Baracus, flashing smiles Mr. T would never have considered.

Peter Travers picks the season's can't-miss films and the ones with a bad vibe in his summer movie preview.

All you need to know about the updated plot is that the team members are no longer dishonorably discharged Vietnam vets but good American soldiers in Iraq getting framed for a crime that, of course, they didn't commit. It's all an excuse for the stunts — watch for that flying tank! — and the macho banter. Copley and Jackson score best on that front. The Hollywood suits figure you'll overlook a movie's faults as long as the  action has juice. Isn't it great when a plan comes together?

Get more news, reviews and interviews from Peter Travers on The Travers Take.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com