Saturday, June 12, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

While everyone else in this country was getting ready for the big World Cup match between SK and Greece (game ended a little while ago, Korea wins 2-0), my wife and I were planning what to do to celebrate our 4th anniversary (last Thursday, but we couldn't do anything special that night).

We decided to drop off the little guy with his grandparents and catch a movie. I wanted to finally see How to Train Your Dragon, but the timing was wrong so we saw The A-Team instead.

If I've learned anything from Hollywood, it's don't expect a movie based on an old TV show to be worth more than just a cheap thrill ride. At best, the humor will be along the lines of a roast, making fun of the source material but still providing a decent enough popcorn flick (Charlies Angels or Starsky and Hutch, for example). At worst, Hollywood drops a big ol' Cleveland Steamer down into our drinks (from what I've heard, Land of the Lost fits this--I haven't seen it and don't really care to. I like the original show too much.)

So the new A-Team movie? I was surprised that it actually took the story a bit more seriously than the original! Sure, it had a lot of humor, and homages to the TV show that inspired it, but it was a solid action flick and it did its best to treat the whole premise in a fairly realistic manner (for an action movie--it's still in that world of "Action!" that The Last Action Hero showed off so brilliantly).

I was a little surprised that it was an origin story, though. When, at the beginning (I don't think I'm spoiling anything by this) Hannibal stops BA's van in the desert, I thought that was the plan. Until BA reveals that he has no idea who Hannibal is. Anyway, we get to see the formation of the team, the "crime they didn't commit," their escape from prison, and the beginning of the hunt to clear their names.

The acting was good, if not stellar. I wasn't too thrilled when I first heard that Liam Neeson was cast as Hannibal, but he did a decent job, although lacking in the panache that George Peppard had. Still, he did well--especially after his crap performance in Clash of the Titans. The guys doing Face, Murdoch and BA all did well, being similar enough to be recognized, but not slavish to the original characters (which likely would have made the movie worse if they had).

The bottom line? Fans of the original show have little to fear. Anyone who likes escapist action fare should eat it up. Oh, and stick around through the credits if you, like me, missed Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz's cameos in the middle of the action.

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