the A team

PG-13

1hr 50mins

director
Joe Carnahan

staring
liam neeson
and
Bradley cooper

When the film was over a friend of mine asked me “What did you think?” I was in a state of what i call careful consideration. Most times when i see a movie especially the good ones in the past the first word out of my mouth is Awesome, great. If it is bad it is usually the same, can’t wait to get there first and mock the movie before totally writing it off altogether but for some reason i was at a loss for words. I sat in the car and came home and turned on the shower and sat down at the table for a couple minutes staring at the clock on the wall and glanced at a phone bill. Then suddenly i began to rewind certain key elements of the design of the movie this led to a 4 hour mission to research as much detail to create a personal observation of what i will say here as being without a shred of doubt the honest truth…

The A team is one of the greatest action adventure movies of all time.

I should explain some of the plot but i think most of you have a fair understanding of what it’s about. Going too far into explaining the story will create a complicated mess on the page. Which i already tried twice. And i’m sure most of you have a familiarity with the subject matter weither you have fond memories of the cheesy television show with the great George Papard or not . I will unsettle you for a moment instead and compare the A team to Tranformers 2 but here in lies the reason for my hesitation because i despise TRANSFORMERS 2 when ever it is on i change the channel if a friend has it on i leave the room. The comparison stems from a single word. Action. Other than that one movie is a pile of bottlecaps the other resembles the impression of the ifle tower made out of legos. Here is thing Action doesn’t make a movie good or bad. Action is a genre like romance and mystery. Which need specific things to operate at a drivable level but need to be enhanced artistically maybe even augmented to achieve total appreciation. The A team is written and directed by men who manipulate time and situations with a massive injection of inter-cutting sequences and the ultimate in technical proficiency. Add an ensemble of charming individuals supply them with more than a handful of great one liners including of all things a Ghandi reference. Get a composer who is willing to go off with the strings and the result is total value on the ticket price.

For me the first thing that tipped me off to what i was gonna see was in the first three minutes a certain cigar chomping mastermind creeps into an alley way as a pair of killer attack dogs descend upon him into the darkness after a few seconds the dogs slowly emerge trembling. This pretty much told me what to expect from the A team. And to be honest I don’t really like screwball comedies but i was stuck i paid ticket value so i had to strap in. As i watched it  and blasts off at such brazen outrageousness, and hysterical frenzy frankly i’m amazed this movie got green lit. What we have here is a nitrogen fueled warmachine operated by a nuclear physicist brought to you by loony tunes.

Any screenwriter will tell you. The first ten minutes is crucial.In the A team the opening sequence is 19 minutes long because of this expansion the middle and the end are later than they would normally appear on a screenplay blueprint. But because of the tactics employed by the makers at the start of the film and the maximum coordinated effort to sustain a level of intensity from the middle to the end it breaks free of any comparison and distinguishes itself  towering far from it’s closest relation.

When the film opens Hannible, B.A. Face cross paths randomly or by accident in a foreign country.  As the very extremely brief but charmingly charismatic introductions are played out a superkiller amasses the power of war and descends upon them ready to kill everything on sight. Cornered they turn to a handicapped ex marine chopper pilot with a means of escape resembling a skateboard versus a Ferrari once the invitation is officially accepted with a hilarious measure of doubt they are engaged in a behemoth dogfight sequence so thrilling and fun it will win any audience over guaranteed.

It takes a couple seconds to clearly plant yourself in this make believe world and i assume it will erk the heck out of anyone not willing to give this movie a second thought or not willing to totally immerse themselves and follow the the relentless intercuting, flashbacks and flashforwards. To watch this movie properly i would suggest going to the bathroom before the movie starts attempt to take in as much as you can without taking your eyes off the screen and if you missed something, anything stay in your seat and watch it again unlike most movies of its kind it all fits it is just directed so EXTREMLY meticulous your first impression as was mine is what the hell is this crap? Where is the soft tender moments you know the downtime in this action movie. Sure there in A team but these moments are so small you might want to think twice about leaving your seat for a couple minutes. Stay too long in the lobby picking up that box of twizzlers and on your way back in you will experience total confusion and disorientation and you’ll spend the rest of the movie alienated and pissed off while everyone else is laughing their asses off.

Is it perfect? No of course not. I won’t go into any specifics other to say some revelations are so predictable you can see them from 3 thousand miles away. And the motor which propels the A team eventually becomes a lot to handle. It is hard to push this hard for 2 hours without letting up a little before the finish line. My attention was finally compromised around the 1 hr and 30 mark. But in closing i will say this. If you can’t see the competition even by using your binoculars rejoice you kicked some serious ass… Even if you have a heart attack and die