Maybe A-?


Wow, over a year since any of us have posted. Shame on me! I actually have a few reviews written out long hand but other writing commitments have steered me away from here. No excuse! I’ll be trying to pop up here a little more frequently now.

Please excuse any confusing present tenseness in the following post. I saw the movie and wrote the review in JUNE! Gah.

So, yeah, I saw The A-Team in the theatre. This may shock some of you greatly. Others won’t be surprised in the least. You may shake your head in disappointment but there won’t be any surprise to it.

Pony Express wanted to see it in the theatre. I might have waited until DVD but she’s right, it’s all about the action and my puny 27″ screen wouldn’t have done it justice. We were great A-Team fans as kids, well before we knew each other, so we threw ourselves into it. She bought the tickets a couple of days early, I ran to the drug store for candy on my way to the show and was a full 30 minutes early to secure us seats thus ensuring the perfect view. I was the first person there by a good 10 minutes and the first woman by 20. By the time the lights dimmed I was nestled into my stadium seat like a roosting robin. A roosting robin with a long dormant love for Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck.

Despite all the emphasis on the experience I have to tell you, we didn’t expect much. The original series wasn’t exactly finely crafted and this was sure to be a pale imitation. I’d read that Mr. T protested the film. I actually felt a little guilty going against him. Then, of course, I saw the whole movie and I don’t know what the hell his mohawked problem was. Is the film version of the A-Team finely crafted? Oh hell no, but whoever put it together knows the formula for this sort of thing and uses it well.

The biggest part of most films of this sort is back story. If a series or book didn’t explain it then it’s franchise gold for the movie to do so. Ever wonder why BA is afraid to fly? Go see this movie. These are the types of plot points the film makers execute beautifully. They wind up covering a lot of time in two hours, too. I think they catch you up on about nine years of A-Team shenanigans in a way that doesn’t seem drawn out.

Now, the effects and the stunts? Ridiculous. No, seriously, let’s say you were a Hercules and Xena fan but thought the action sequences were too silly. (Not that anybody here might be that sort of person. Ahem.) This makes those look like a fucking documentary. Despite constant flouting of the laws of physics they stick to one movie stunt busted by the Mythbusters. Adam and Jamie say you can’t bust through a plate glass window with just the weight of a human body unless it has been weakened in some way. The glass not the body. As a result the cast of the A Team shoots out approximately 28,572,304,723,098 windows before rolling through them commando-style. It’s a hilarious thing for them to have gotten stuck on as you watch three or four people dodging between hundreds of gigantic tumbling shipping containers completely unscathed.

Perhaps we wouldn’t have enjoyed ourselves quite so much if we hadn’t seen exactly this showing in this theatre. The audience of about 20 people were clearly all lovers of both the genre and the franchise. As a group we gasped, hooted, cheered, talked back and even applauded here and there. For my money, though, this flick was worth every penny. Nothing the studio did beforehand raised my expectations overmuch which was one of the smarter moves they made. As a result the film itself far exceeded any assumptions on my part.

Because they used most of the successful tricks of formula to make a film out of a series I am about 90% certain they’ve got nothing for a sequel. They just can’t do it again. But this one? One big car crashing, girl kissing, disguise wearing party of a shoot ’em up. Catch it quick before it’s gone forever.

(Ed. Note: Whoops, too late. Sorry.)


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2 Responses to “Maybe A-?”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    This was one that Mr. Chili and I sort of shrugged off when we saw the previews. Neither of us were really fans, so we didn’t feel the same kind of pull I imagine you did.

    That being said, sometimes you really WANT a car crashing, girl kissing, disguise wearing party of a shoot ‘em up. I’m glad this one fit the bill.

    (Oh, and about the lack of posting; I’m planning on getting on that, too. I’m teaching a film and lit class this semester, so movies are a big part of my week lately. Watch this space…).

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Glad to see you back!

    I missed The A-Team in the theater, but you’ve reminded me that I still want to see it on one of those ” I want mindless explosions” kind of nights.

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