(PG13) US. Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley
American critics have taken the film version of the iconic ’80s TV series to task, claiming it’s dumb, loud and painfully superficial. All three criticisms are wholly appropriate. What were they expecting?
In this origin story, our four outlaw heroes meet in a hail of bullets on an undercover mission in Mexico before being posted to Iraq and framed. Eyebrows were raised when Liam Neeson agreed to pick up the mantle as Captain Hannibal Smith, but he maintains his dignity, accompanied by wisecracking sidemen Face (Cooper) and Murdock (Copley). Proceedings are marshalled with a thunderous and gleeful absence of subtlety, but many of the action scenes are so jerky it’s hard to know what’s going on.
But as an unfussy, streamlined example of old-school Hollywood cinema at its purest and most unpretentious, The A-Team scores at least a B.