The A-Team: Overkill is Underrated

The psychiatric patient hangs off the rotors of a medical helicopter and leisurely spins around while slowly singing “You spin my head right round, right round”.

Meet Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley), part of the Alpha Team or A-Team, an elite but slight insane group of soldiers. The others are Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper), leader Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson) and Sergeant. B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson).

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The A-Team is the remake of the popular 80’s television show of the same name. It has been updated for today’s audiences though – they are no longer Vietnam War veterans, but rather veterans of the Iraq War.

After 8 years as the go-to team for near-impossible missions, the guys who “specialise in the ridiculous” are framed for the theft of money-printing plates and are chucked into maximum-security prison.

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Of course, that hardly holds them for long.

Especially when they have help from the CIA Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson from Watchmen) is a creepy agent with no first name and no integrity. He breaks them out with the promise of full pardon if they get the plates back.

There’s also Jessica Biel as the quintessential love interest, Captain Carissa Sosa. A babe like her is hardly believable in the tough sandy environment of Iraq, but that’s the essence of the whole movie.

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Director Joe Carnahan doesn’t try to root this movie in reality and it’s very apparent from the scenes of sinking container liners, shooting down planes from a tank in mid-air and flying upside-down in a helicopter (yes, the same helicopter that Murdock was hanging from).

It’s sheer fun.

[Murdock has dropped cargo crushing Baracus' van]
Sgt. Bosco ‘B.A.’ Baracus: You pancaked my van! I’m gonna kill you, fool!
Capt. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock: You can’t park there, that’s a handicap zone.

The movie is basically a really long and well-made action sequence with tight editing and great sound effects.

It’s precisely because of that you should pay for that ticket because only then can you appreciate the coolness of Face sticking himself to the underside of a moving semi-truck or Hannibal freeing himself from handcuffs and vicious dogs with a firing pin from his gun.

While some may complain about the film not properly honouring the television show, you won’t get any comments because we’re too busy laughing at Murdock sprinkling gunpowder onto his steak.

Title: The A-Team
Opens: Jun 10
Duration: 120 minutes
Language: English
Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson

About Amanda Foo

Amanda has chosen to hide behind written "unencumbered numbered words" (Jason Mraz, of whom she is a fan) due to her unsuccessful attempts to attain proper enunciation. Also, Jason Mraz can be very odd sometimes, which is something that Amanda identifies with easily. Amanda is also desperately in love with the food blog, smitten kitchen, because that’s the sort of life she hopes to have someday: a small kitchen in a bustling city filled to the brim with unforgettable food. She hopes that by being the Food editor of Trimedia Publishing, she is taking at least one small step towards her dream. She also loves the movie Inglourious Basterds. This is because the scene in which Lt. Aldo Raine casually carves the swastika into the forehead Col. Hans Landa and the fold of skin is arching up away from his skull is nauseating, demented and a work of genius.
  • Reese

    This movie is pure fun. Great casts and great action sequences. And that scene with Murdock hanging by the propeller while singing You Spin Me Round is priceless, always crack me up, nice way to introduce the wacko pilot. Thanks for the article.