Tuesday 27 July 2010

The A-Team

The A-Team
Starring: Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson
Director: Joe Carnahan
20th Century Fox

In Cinemas From Friday
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Latest in a line of Hollywood blockbuster adaptations of classic television series, The A-Team follows the daring exploits of a colourful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going ‘rogue’ they utilise their unique talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.

John "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson – Darkman, Excalibur) is held captive in Mexico by two corrupt officers working for the renegade General Tuco. Hannibal escapes and sets out to rescue Templeton "Face" Peck, who is held captive at Tuco's ranch. Hannibal saves Face after enlisting disgraced Ranger Bosco B.A. Baracus, driving to the rescue in B.A.'s modified – and still pretty iconic - van. Still running from Tuco, they manage to stop off at a nearby Army hospital to recruit the services of eccentric pilot H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock. They manage to escape through a series of hair-raising adventures, and much excitement!

"Eight years and eighty successful missions later", the team is a highly-regarded elite combat unit stationed in Iraq. Hannibal is contacted by CIA Agent Lynch (Nite Owl), who reveals that Iraqi insurgents possess U.S. treasury plates being used to manufacture counterfeit currency. Lynch wants Hannibal and his team to steal the plates and over one billion dollars in counterfeit cash that is due to be moved out of Baghdad.

Based on the original ‘80s American television series, The A-Team is well cast. It has a surprising mix of *splutter* decent actors! Bradley Cooper is an excellent choice as The Face, Quinton Jackson as B.A. Baracus, Sharlto Copley as Murdock (who was brilliant in District Nine, and gives a stellar performance in this role); it would seem that Liam Neeson as Hannibal is the only weakest link. Why is it that Neeson refuses to perform with any other accent than his strong Irish one? In this film he plays a hugely patriotic elite American soldier and yet he still can’t be arsed to learn another accent? I know he is a great and highly regarded actor, but come on being Qui-Gon Jinn will only allow you so many free passes!

What I think is so great about this film is the script. It pays homage to the original TV series without being too cheesy. Don’t get me wrong there are some serious tongue and cheek moments and you do have to take a leap of faith with the action sequences, but you will not be disappointed with this film. Comedy timing plays an important role, along with the diverse characters excellently portrayed by its varied cast working in conjunction with excellent special effects you are really on to a winner.

I went in expecting this film to be crass, over the top, hideous and, well, formulaic... It turns out that it IS all of those things, but this isn’t a negative thing. This is an action film that is just plain fun, it doesn’t take itself seriously and it manages to raise more than a few laughs. It is definitely worth a watch.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Plenty of violence, bullets, sweat and fire!
Sex/Nudity: Some nudity, but I wish there was more (clearly Bradley Cooper has been doing lots of sit ups to be in this film).
Swearing: Probably, but none of note.
Summary: This is a fun action film that I believe everyone will enjoy, and you do not have to have watched the original TV series in order to see the appeal of this film. Go to the cinema with a large bucket of popcorn and enjoy. 8/10


Starring Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, this explosive and action-packed story of heroism and courage under fire follows American and Russian troops as they join forces in a desperate mission that could change the course of World War II.

The key to victory lies in the genius mind of one man – Nicky Raus, a Jewish scientist who is on the brink of developing a weapon of tremendous destructive power. When Nazi agents succeed in a daring operation to kidnap him, US Special Forces’ Frank Hossom is dispatched to bring the scientist back – dead or alive.

With the odds stacked against him and time running out, Frank teams up with Russian agents and mounts a desperate rescue mission to save the scientist from the clutches of the Nazis and their malevolent leader, General von Binding (Ron Perlman - Alien Resurrection, Blade II).

While the war rages on, the fight for ultimate victory starts here...

The Second Front is out on DVD from Monday, priced £15.99.

Thanks to our friends at Metrodome, we've got three copies of The Second Front on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to secondfrontgiveaway@yahoo.co.uk with your name and postal address before midday on Tuesday 3rd August (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!

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