Nostalgia. We use it as a means of eulogising about the past, and gushing over a sentimentality of the often cherry picked nuggets of historical joy. However, those nuggets are often torn from a whole rock face of mediocrity, banality and boredom. So when Hollywood takes a cult TV show like The A-Team, and turns it into a film, it is nostalgia that is the only reason I can fathom as to why people actually wrote anything remotely positive about this film, let alone made it. But, what has actually happened is that the film has reproduced all the worse bits of the TV show (of which there was a lot) and none of the all too rare good bits.
The film is one of a wave of ˜origin’ films that Hollywood is churning out (so much so that it is in danger of becoming a paradigm), and tells the story of how Hannibal (played by Liam Nesson), BA (Quinton Jackson), Face (Bradley Cooper) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley) got together, got framed for a crime they didn’t commit and then become the ˜A-team’. Their ˜crime’ (for which they were framed) involves stealing some plates that are use to print money. Once they have been busted out of jail in some of the most ludicrous ways imaginable, they set out trying to capture the people who framed them. I can’t really divulge the plot any more than that because, really, it doesn’t have one. The film tries to ˜explain’ the character traits which made the TV series popular, such as BA’s fear of flying, the fact that no-one ever dies, and their ability to make a turbo-charged super van with weapons-grade amour plating with only a paperclip and some sachets of ketchup. Perhaps it is this nostalgia for the original, which caused it to be made, let alone garner any positivity. But let’s not forget that the original A-Team TV series itself was equally mind-numbingly banal too. Sometimes, nostalgia is horrifically misplaced.
The cast look embarrassed to be there. Bradley Cooper appears to spend the whole film inexplicably topless. There’s also a Jessica Biel-shaped cut out which they seem to have animated, although not very well. The preposterous action scenes fly by in a whir of befuddlement that leave you frustratingly bored. The film tries to make some profundity of non-violence by using Ghandi quotes but then rather spoils this by destroying an entire container ship and murdering countless henchmen in the process. You’d laugh, if you hadn’t already sat through nearly two hours of repugnant absurdity. As third acts go, its one of the most amazingly terrible scenes I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. So bad it’s good? No. It’s not even so bad it’s good and then bad again. It’s so bad that it implodes in upon itself in some endless paradoxical spiral of execrable carrion. The Room this is not.
The only positive I can think of is that the TV I was watching it on was getting hot which meant I could turn the thermostat down a bit and save me about £2.14 on heating costs. There was only one film that I ever walked out on and that was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and if I didn’t feel after the first scene of The A-Team that I was going to pen this review, I would have walked away from this one too.