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So, that A-Team movie, then...

It's good. It genuinely is. It's far from perfect, but it's certainly enjoyable. Nothing for fans of the original to be offended by; and although people die in this version, a lot of the spirit of the TV series is maintained. Movie!Hannibal is fun, and movie!BA is perfectly sufficient, but movie!Murdock and movie!Face are awesome. Not as good as the real thing of course, but then nothing could be. Getting the bad points out of the way first, then...

Jessica Biel. I don't think I've seen her in anything before. Let's just say that I won't be hurrying to see her in anything else.

Hannibal's voice. What's up with that?! It sounds like he's been gargling razor blades. I think Liam Neeson is Irish, so he's probably having to fake the accent, but come on. If there's a sequel, Liam, try going up at least half a dozen octaves.

BA's subplot about pacifism. It just doesn't work. One moment he's insisting that he can't kill, because his choice of prison reading has helped him to see the light - in six months, mind you. I might buy it if it had been six years - and then suddenly he's not a pacifist anymore, because Hannibal quotes Gandhi at him. What exactly was the point?! Character depth, maybe. At any rate, either the actor or the script wasn't up to the job. And what's with the "Pity" and "Fool" tattoos? Nobody ever said that "Pity the fool" nonsense in The A-Team. I don't know where it came from, but it wasn't from the show. And speaking of tattoos, does every Army Ranger have a big shield tattooed on their arm? Because that's really not very covert.

Face's stubble. Shave. Now. And why all the mooning over Jessica Biel? So she dumped you. Get over it. Are characters not allowed to be womanisers anymore? Proper!Face was that way because of his psychological issues, so it's not like he was doing it because he was a jerk or something. That's the sort of character layering that might have worked in the movie - in just the way that the pacifism thing didn't.

Jessica Biel. Yes, I know, but it's worth mentioning twice. All the other 'bad' points I've mentioned above are minor things, and aren't really going to spoil enjoyment of the film, but she's something different. Don't know what it is about her exactly, but she has the personality of a chicken noodle.

As to the rest, it's really rather nicely put together. Daft as a bucket of frogs, but it clearly isn't trying to be anything else. The team is good, the bad guys are good. Quinton Jackson is a little underwhelming as BA, but then that's in the tradition of the original, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. Nobody ever accused Mr T of being a wonderful actor. The only real weak link is Jessica Biel, and I'm not sure if that's the acting that's at fault or the character. Amy Allen was the only woman who ever worked well in the original show, and it looks like nothing has changed.

Plotwise, it has a very strong start; although it's altogether possible that I'm confusing "Wheeeeee! Stunts and explosions!" with plot. The beginning may be the best bit, actually. It's set seven years prior to the rest of the film, and shows how the gang got together - or some of them. Hannibal and Face are already a team; some sort of special ops unit who clearly have their own way of doing things. Face has got himself kidnapped by some drug dealers, who plan to both hang him and burn him alive, which suggests that movie!Face is nearly as skilled as proper!Face in pissing off bad guys. Anyway, Hannibal's rescue attempt and the subsequent escape bring BA and Murdock into the team, along with a lot of plans coming together, and things going boom. It's all fast-moving, and pretty much non-stop madness, and it's great fun. During the escape, a bit of particularly mad flying from Murdock causes BA to fall out of the helicopter, and he has to be dragged back in again by Face. This leaves him with an intense fear of flying. Some people have complained about that, as the original series stated that BA had always been afraid of flying, but that never made a lot of sense. After all, if he'd been that way his whole life, how on earth did he qualify as a paratrooper?!

Then it's seven years later, and there's intrigue and more things going boom, and a crime that they didn't commit - which of course is where the story begins. Things do drag a bit in places, but it's full of great lines. Murdock gets some particularly good ones, and I love that, just like Proper!Murdock, he speaks random languages fluently. He and Face have a close friendship, which is a nice nod to the main enduring chemistry of the original, although we don't see nearly enough of any of the gang interacting together. Face and Hannibal maybe. Everybody else is really only seen together in little snatches. The abortive execution of bad guy Pike is another comic highlight, and of course everybody has seen the airborne tank battle by now. It gets sillier. By quite a long way. It's going to annoy some people, as they completely throw sense out of the window in that sequence, but if you care about stuff like that, you're probably not an A-Team fan. The last big action sequence, in which Face somehow manages to survive having an entire ship explode underneath him, is also great fun. There have already been complaints about that bit, as Face made the final plan instead of Hannibal; but since it went spectacularly wrong, I don't see what the problem is. Hannibal is still the great tactician. Movie!Face is apparently the go-to guy for things going badly wrong in an incendiary fashion. I'm okay with that.

Good grief, this is a lot of pointless waffle. Anyway, it's fun. Loud, silly, flawed, and probably a good half hour too long, but fun. Check out the scene where the gang rescue Murdock after their conviction, which involves a lovely nod to some other roles played over the years by the original A-Team cast. And I love the ending. Specifically the final line, and who delivers it. It's really annoyed some of the die-hard traditionalists, but I don't care. It was Big-Silly-Grin-Making, as was the whole of the ending bit. And Jessica Biel had a point! Who knew?! It took her until the closing seconds of the movie to find it, but it was there. Just a shame that she had to be in the other hundred and five minutes as well...

Oh, and hey, True Blood came back! And it was wonderful. Eric needs to wear more clothes, Bill needs to stay lost in the woods for a while - werewolves are so much more interesting than Sookie - and Sam really needs to dream more often. Also, Pam should have more lines. Particularly if they're at the expense of naked!Eric.

And a fleeting visit from the Magister! I like him. He should come back more often.

Comments

( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
eandh99
Jun. 15th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Now, you know I don't agree with you about naked Eric - but I'm all about more Pam. More sarcastic, perfectly groomed, tough as nails Pam, she's the best. Glad you liked the Sam/Bill dream.
swordznsorcery
Jun. 15th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
The dream was hilarious. Interesting, too, that Sam knew at least on some level that Bill was in trouble. They seem to have a better psychic connection than Bill and Sookie do!

Pam was great. I loved her completely failing to try to stop Sookie from going into the cellar. The queen is good as well. The scenes between her and Eric always seem to be fun.
( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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