By Saurin Parikh (Review Catalogue)
I shouldn’t really be reviewing The A-Team. In fact, I shouldn’t be reviewing Hollywood action movies at all. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that I detest them. I don’t even call it Hollywood action, I call it Hollywood baloney. And you can’t really even blame me.
There was a time when action movies were fun just for the daredevilry. We got to see some awesome stunts, bone-crunching fist-fights and blood-shattering gunfights. The victory of good over evil was a given, how it came about was what made things interesting. There would be a bad guy who would seem invincible, but the hero would show immense valour to rise above everything and slay him. We dreamt of being such a hero, of being applauded for winning over a monstrous villain. These were the kind of action movies that we cherished, even watched again and again. Unfortunately, The A-Team isn’t that kind of an action movie.
With the influx of technology, filming mind-boggling stunts has become easy, a little too easy. The result is that these stunts indeed boggle you, and so much that they don’t even have one shred of believability in them. For me, that ruins everything. I just can’t enjoy a movie where the bunch of heroes walk unscathed amidst a downpour of bullets, or jump away from a bomb blast without even feeling the heat. To make things worse, the heroes in The A-Team also fly a tank, yes, an effing tank. And that for you is Hollywood baloney.
The story is, quite obviously, ludicrous. The A-Team is made up of four US Military Rangers, they carry out an unauthorized operation in Baghdad, get a prison sentence for it, escape prison to redeem themselves, and do the US government a major favour by retrieving plates that could counterfeit their currency. The biggest favour the director does is to the audience, when the movie finally ends.
We’re told that the four A-Team members are the finest operatives in the US military, and with that knowledge, we’re expected to believe that they can appear in any part of the world without anyone asking them for any kind of identification. They can also blow up places, shoot down people and do whatever the heck they want to cause havoc anywhere they please. Hey, they’re the A-Team after all.
I’m not going to dwell on the acting skills, or the lack of it. Each of the four characters is characterless, their only virtue being the ability to avoid being hit by a bullet. To make us believe that the leader of the A-Team, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) is a brilliant planner, he’s been given a dialogue that he recites every now and then. It goes something like, “I love it when a plan comes together.” What it really means is, “I hope this one line, when repeated a gazillion times, will establish my character as a brilliant planner.” Well, it doesn’t. Purely for the record, the film also stars Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton Jackson and Sharlto Copley.
The A-Team is based on a television series of the same name. The movie has been directed by Joe Camahan. As you might have guessed, the movie did nothing else but piss me off, but then I was the fool to expect anything else. If you’re a hardcore action movie fan and willing to accept the ridiculous, you might even enjoy it. As far as I’m concerned, The A-Team is an absurd mess.