When one remakes a cult status product, be it a movie or TV series, the expectations are always high. That is why, you always try to put in top saleable stars in the remakes, so that the curiosity factor stays high and also people paying to watch the movie get to see their current favourite celebs reprising the roles of their favourite characters. This is why when you see the remakes Charlies' Angels, Don etc. a lot of time and energy is spent in the right casting. This is where 'The A Team' falters. Besides Liam Neeson & Bradley Cooper, not much known stars here in this flick, especially in the role of Mr. B.A. Baracus, epitomised by Mr. T.
Opening in Mexico, with Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson), being held, captive by corrupt Mexican officers working for General Javier Tuco. Hannibal manages to escape and sets out to rescue his fellow lieutenant, Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Bradley Cooper), who is himself caught by the General for seducing his girl. Enroute, Hannibal, befriends B.A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) and enlists him on his team for the rescue mission. After resucing Face and planning their escape, Hannibal picks ace pilot, H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley), a patient at the Army Hospital considered to be mentally insane. Following an action packed air borne chase, where Hannibal cleverly gets Tuco into US Air Space where it is gunned down by a US fighter plane. All being a part of Hannibal's master plan.
8 years later, the team is approached by a CIA agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) to steal counterfeit US currency along with the treasury plates in Iraq. At the same time, Captain Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel), ex-lover of Face, warns him and his team to stay out of the operation. Due to no direct military orders, Hannibal takes his commanding officer into confidence to take this as a covert operation. On successful completion of another high powered action sequence, when our heroes return to base, the commanding officer is murdered and the money and plates are stolen. Needless to say, the A Team is implicated, dishonourably discharged and imprisoned in 4 different maximum security prisons to serve a sentence of 10 years.
How they go about redeeming themselves, forms the plot for this 1 hour 47 mins long action film. Directed by Joe Carnahan, the film is too predictable at places. The action sequences though well executed, come across at times as unbelievable. For example, the climax fight when all the containers on the docks are being blown apart, they all seem to fall magically around B.A. but none on him! Also the 4 prison breaks seem to fall into place very conveniently. They could have taken a leaf from the TV series Prison Break and just added a few moments of unplanned events, which could have made the sequences more thrilling. Having said that, the initial air chase between the 2 choppers in Mexico and the tank sequence are fun to watch.
On the acting front, in such movies there is no great scope for one's acting talents, hence even actors like Liam Neeson fail to light up the screen with their acting. It is pure persona. Likewise in the case of Bradley Cooper. Where I feel that the casting fails is in the roles of Murdock and B.A. They should have got bigger stars who could light up the screen with their style. Jessica Biel looks pretty, but no great acting skills to write about.
Also, there is no emotional connect between the 4 team members also. The entire episode of BA turning non-violent and the reference of Gandhi to resort to violence in the climax, seems too contrived. There was scope to show a father-son type bonding between Neeson and Cooper, but the film doesnt touch upon it too. Too smug in places, but yet maybe worth watching once, do not expect this to be an edge of the seat action flick.