Making the Grades
The soldiers of fortune that once enjoyed popularity on North American TV screens during the 1980s are staging a comeback. This time they are appearing in movie theaters with the hope of sparking sentimentality from their aging fans and instilling an interest in younger audiences.
Cigar smoking ringleader Hannibal (Liam Neeson), along with the spontaneous Murdock (Sharlto Copley), womanizing Face (Bradley Cooper) and the eminent Baracus (Quinton Jackson) join together to form an elite team for the Army Special Forces. They are commissioned to stop a potential counterfeiting ring hatched in Iraq that will cost the US government billions. But the operation goes bad and the foursome end up being accused of the very crime they were trying to prevent. Determined to clear their names, the band of men runs from federal agent Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel)—the one woman in the film who provides a minor love interest for Face—while seeking help from CIA Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson).
Yes, the plot really can be summarized in a paragraph. After all, it’s difficult to carry on much dialogue when eighty percent of the runtime is taken up with gunfire. The script scarcity also puts a bit of a damper on character development. In short, whether or not you have seen these cardboard characters in their original broadcast glory, you won’t learn any more about them here.
As the copious amounts of violence riddle the big screen, the sanitized depictions of the television series (sometimes accused of being unrealistic by the critics of the day) are no longer evident. This 2010 team has guns that really do shoot and often blood is seen as a result. As well, death is more frequent with many nameless characters meeting their demise from bullet wounds, car wrecks, bombings and other life extinguishing methods.
Unfortunately, some offensive language and sexual content accompanies this excessive violence. Profanities, though relatively infrequent, are used throughout and include scatological terms, a sexual finger gesture and an interrupted sexual expletive. A few sexual comments are heard too, and one brief scene implies an intimate encounter between a man and woman who have just met. That’s not too surprising. This is a man’s movie and the female characters are subject to male whims.
Although The A-Team likely will appeal to teen boys yearning for action, parents might not feel the same enthusiasm. At the very least, moms and dads may prefer a story that offers a modicum of consequence in exchange for the kind of death and destruction these guys unleash in the name of saving America a few bucks.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The A-Team.
The A-Team TV show was criticized for depicting many violent acts where no blood was seen and few people were ever seriously injured or killed. Do you think it is more correct to portray violence with realistic injuries? What are the pros and cons between these two scenarios?
The one major female character in this film appears to be employed in a position of control. Is this an accurate assessment? Who is she actually accountable to? What characters determine the outcome of her investigation?