Explosive entertainer
Ervell E. Menezes

Shot beautifully with the state-of-the-art special effects, Joe Carnahan’s The A Team is a feast for those who love action

Ervell E. Menezes

This is yet another TV series being converted into a film. Has Hollywood run out of ideas or are they trying to attract TV audiences? The A Team is an action-heavy entertainer in the same mould as The 5-Man Army and The Dirty Dozen, which are superior as they have a semblance of a plot.

Not The A Team. It is a series of explosive action, bulldozers breaking into houses, car chases. Helicopter dog fights. Speedboats, you name it— they are there and some you didn’t even think of. Shot beautifully with the state-of-the-art special effects, it is a feast for the action-hungry and children will just love it.

But 117 minutes of this can be too much of a good thing. The TV serial had yesteryear hero George Peppard (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) in the lead and the Vietnam War as backdrop. To update the fare, this one has the Iraq war as the backdrop and with the United States perennially at war, there is no dearth of locales.

Here Liam Neeson plays the hero. Today Ralph Fiennes and Neeson have graduated to the status of top billing and though Neeson is better known for more sensitive roles, he is able to hold his own in this action-packed film. This group of four is made up of a variety of folk.

These Iraq war veterans look to clear their names with the US military

Besides Neeson as Hannibal, there’s handsome Face (Bradley Cooper), who looks after the romantic aspect, Murdock (Shyalto Copley), a lean, hungry wild west-like villain and A. B. Baracus (Quinto ‘Rampage’ Jackson) all 200 pounds of Man Mountain.

This group of Iraq war veterans looks to clear their name with the US military, who suspect them of committing a crime for which they had been framed. It is no easy task because between the CIA, the regular US Army and other splinter groups they have to weave their way in and out of trouble. But it is an anything-is-possible situation and director Joe Carnahan has a field day.

The screenplay by Carnahan and others is ordinary but occasional humour is the saving grace. Cinematographer Mauro Fiore has enough scope with the locales and indulges in a good deal of aerial shooting and Alan Silvestri’s music backdrop provides the much dramatic relief, Jessica Biel as Charisa Sosa takes care of the feminine charm. There is not much of acting to do in such films but Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper are just about adequate. So, if one has nothing better to do then you might as well take a chance. But be sure to plug your ears with cotton.