I must admit to feeling rather lukewarm towards “The A-Team” upon the release of its first trailer back in January. I can’t say I wasn’t intrigued, but the TV show upon which this big screen epic is based isn’t exactly a sentimental favorite of mine; but that’s being kind. In all honesty, I could probably think of — in the least — a thousand other things I’d rather do than sit through a rerun of that goofy ‘80s actioner.
Now comes trailer #2 and “The A-Team” suddenly has my interest. Not only does this clip provide a better feel for the film, but I’ve also read recently that the project is produced by brothers and Hollywood filmmakers extraordinaire, Ridley and Tony Scott, one of whom is nothing short of a legend and the second of whom certainly knows his way around an action flick.
What really appeals to me about this trailer — the action sequences aside; I know those will be good with the Scott Bros. attached — is the chemistry between the cast.
Led by the versatile, rock steady Liam Neeson, playing Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, the four principals look like they’re having an absolute blast.
Relative newcomer Quinton “Rampage” Jackson may be the biggest surprise. Always bearing in mind this is a mere two-and-a-half minute sample, this mixed martial artist turned actor, playing aviophobic muscleman Sgt. B.A. Baracus, appears to do a nice job updating his character. He plays Baracus with decidedly more restraint and less camp compared to the TV interpretation.
The always-likable Bradley Cooper plays smoothing talking ladies man, Lt. “Faceman” Peck, and Sharlto Copley, playing Cpt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, rounds out the team of falsely-imprisoned military “alpha” commandos from which the film takes its title. Compared to his role in last summer’s “District 9,” Copley borders on unrecognizable; whether that’s because he’s still a relative unknown entity or because of acting prowess is up for debate; I would guess it’s a little of both.
Am I marking “The A-Team” down in my hypothetical “must-see” movie planner, then? I’m not quite ready to make that leap — not with those terrible ’80s reruns still lingering in memory — but I’m getting there. Furthermore, screenwriter Michael Brandt indicated in a recent interview that this version of “The A-Team” will not only include onscreen character deaths (nobody EVER died in the TV series — or even took a bullet) but that it will also have more in common with films like “Die Hard” and “The Bourne Identity” than with ‘80s TV. From the look of this trailer, that’s not hard to believe. Yeah, I’m definitely getting there. If the reviews are solid, I’m sold.
Even as things stand now, though, I’m more likely to see “The A-Team” in theaters over this coming summer’s other big-action ticket, “Salt,” a film whose trailer I evaluated yesterday. “Salt” may have the ravishing Angelina Jolie in the title role, but even she couldn’t make a cheesy ‘80s action line like “I love it when a plan comes together” sound as fun as Liam Neeson does.
Also starring Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson, “The A-Team” goes on the lam June 11.
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