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The A-Team - Blu-ray Review


The A-Team

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When it was first announced that Joe Carnahan, director of Narc and Smokin’ Aces, would be helming Tony and Ridley Scott’s co-produced revamp of The A-Team, there was immediate speculation and criticism as to what the end result would be: loud explosions, bad language, stylized violence, over-the-top action sequences, and zero credibility in both plot and stunts.  Well, they are right and, much to the chagrin of most critical commentaries, that’s exactly why the film works as well as it does.

Swapping the events central to Vietnam with The Gulf War, The A-Team is the story of how John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson), Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradly Cooper), B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), and H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdoch (Sharlto Copley) became known as soldiers for hire, only IF you know where to look for them.  The plot?  Did it ever really matter to the events of The A-Team?  Was there ever a huge character arch that kept you watching from season to season?  Not really, so don’t expect much of one here.  You’ve got these CIA bad guys, Lynch (Patrick Wilson) and Pike (Brian Bloom) who want this money printing press from Iraq so that they can make counterfeit bills, and in their way is the madness of cigar-chomping Hannibal and his A-Team, who, as described by Capt. Sosa (Jessica Biel), “specialize in the ridiculous” wherever they go.

The A-Team, as created by Jules Daley and Stephen J. Cannel, was never meant to be taken seriously.  It was an action-packed farce with some cool characters and inherent over-the-top silliness that ran for 98 episodes; it was an action- fueled laughathon, only most critics – based on the comments heard while exiting the screening - seem to have forgotten the joke.  It is obvious, from the stylized events of the picture, that Carnahan understands this concept and delivers a balls-kicking picture worthy of its title.

The mantra in the action sequences of The A-Team seems to go as follows: if it can explode, it will.  Case in point, the villainous Pike manages to sink an entire freighter with one shot from a bazooka.  Yeah, it’s the 1980’s all over again and it feels so right.  Certainly, The A-Team is a logic-defying thrill-a-minute summer film, but sometimes, if the picture and its director are clever enough, it’s simply okay to surrender to those charms because we expect them from this creation and to not have it would simply piss a lot of people off.  We aren’t reinventing the wheel here, folks.  That’s certainly not A-Team material.

Ultimately, The A-Team is popcorn escapism at its finest.  You’ll get lost in all the action, have a bit of déjà vu at the onscreen antics between the characters (if you watched the television show as religiously as I did), and laugh yourself silly as the team attempts to fly (yes, fly) a tank over Germany skies.  While there are some twists and minimal differences between the new and the old version of the same story, mostly Carnahan’s film is just a dominating, over-the-top spectacle, full of cartoonishly violent moments (in which an amazing amount of bullets are unloaded, but no one seems to die – much like the television show) that never ceases to be entertaining.  Loud, obnoxious, self-referential, and fun as hell, The A-Team, in Carnahan’s solid hands, delivers a much needed kick-ass punch to the summer season of movie going.


Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 14, 2010
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); Digital copy (on disc); BD-Live

Supplements:

Unrated Extended Cut: The disc includes both the PG-13 theatrical cut and an extended version.

Featurettes:

Deleted Scenes:

Theatrical Trailer (1080p, 2:25)

BD-Live Exclusive - Dressing Down (720p, 3:11)

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