Summer movies are about explosions and stunt work. The good ones add a dash of comedy for the total popcorn flick.
Of late, many movies are being based on old TV shows. Now 20 years removed, the ’80s have been a mine for many new features. Enter “The A-Team.”
The story deals with a group of Army Rangers who are framed in Iraq. They were sent on a mission to retrieve engraving plates and counterfeit bills. The materials are in Baghdad, and the team must go undercover to get them.
Standing orders are that no U.S. personnel are to go into the city, but the team has direct orders from Gen. Morrison (Gerald McRaney) to go and get them. Morrison and Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) are old friends, and the trust they have for each other is total.
The team gains the materials but is double-crossed by Pike (Brian Bloom) and his Black Forest group. The team is disbanded and sent to four different prisons across the globe.
Hannibal gets a visit from Lynch (Patrick Wilson), who is in the CIA and was in Iraq while Hannibal was. He wants Hannibal to get out and find the plates. Hannibal asks for his trademark cigar, with a drug that can allow him to mimic death. From the bowels of a crematorium, he rises from near death to put the team back together to go after the plates and clear their names.
The producer and director of this movie did a wonderful job with casting. Every actor on the team is perfect for their roles. Neeson is a bit more stoic than George Peppard, who was Hannibal on the television series. But that is needed here.
Quinton Jackson plays all the phobias of B.A. Baracus perfectly. It’s as if he’s channeling Mr. T. Bradley Cooper plays “Faceman” Peck with a smarminess that borders on charming; he is a perfect scoundrel.
The biggest surprise is Sharlto Copley as Murdock. Copley shone brightly in his role as a bureaucrat in last summer’s “District 9.” Here he plays crazy to a tee. He is surprisingly effective as an American serviceman who is slightly off.
I loved the movie, but my praise comes with a drawback: the language. I cannot fully recommend this movie because parents will see the PG-13 rating and think it is fine to send their kids to see it. Given the language, the movie is not appropriate for kids.
And that’s a shame. Besides the language, which is enough to sound a word of caution, the movie is fun. There is action and genuine humor. But the language deserves a red flag.
Mike Parnell is pastor of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax, Va.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking.
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writers: Joe Carnahan and Brian Bloom
Cast: Liam Neeson: Hannibal Smith; Bradley Cooper: Templeton “Faceman” Peck; Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: B.A. Baracus; Sharlto Copley: Murdock; Jessica Biel: Charisa Sosa; Gerald McRaney: Gen. Morrison; Brian Bloom: Pike; Patrick Wilson: Lynch.
The movie’s website is here.
Michael Parnell is pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is married and has two boys. His love is for movies, and he can be found in a theater most Fridays.