I suppose this will sound odd coming from self-confessed old-style geek, but I didn’t actually watch the 1983 TV series. Of course, not having a TV at the time or, subsequently, enough energy to watch one in between changing nappies, is a pretty good excuse. So on the whole I reckon I came to the film with no real way of measuring it against the original version.
Alright, so I missed George Peppard, Mr T (yes, yes, pity me for it) and the rest, but the series is out in a 27-DVD box set; therefore maybe I’ll catch up one day if someone is feeling generous and finds my wishlist. I must get extra shelves fitted first, as the DVD collection is now getting seriously invasive.
Anyway, the film. It’s one of those summer blockbuster thingies, best viewed on a big screen, so you get lots of action and a fairly simplistic plot. Not a problem. If it was a problem James Bond, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Three Musketeers and so on wouldn’t be so popular. And The A-Team is, indeed, an enjoyable lightweight romp. It’s also very funny, and the fact that the film doesn’t take itself seriously takes it out of the “OK but forgettable adventure flick” class and into the “possible future DVD purchase/rental” bracket in my opinion. So there.
The boys will love the action, with lots of explosions, flying objects (some of them actually designed to fly), the goofy bravado, the pretty female lead.
For those who prefer their eye-candy to shave at least once a day, there’s plenty of that too, and for all ages. I did have a brief nagging feeling that the evil Lynch (a recurring baddy name from the series, for those who don’t know) should have been played by Julian McMahon, whom the actor vaguely resembles. But the one they cast is quite smooth and nasty enough, even if connoisseurs don’t get to ogle him in a semmit. Such is life.
For those who remember the original series, it’s been slightly updated to bring the background some 25 years into the future. The characters haven’t changed that much, although ‘Howling Mad’ is not quite so obviously certifiable as in the series.
Conclusion: it’s a pleasant interlude, not too taxing for the grey matter – this is an adventure film, remember to suspend disbelief before invoking basic physics – with lots of action yet not excessively violent or gory (blissfully free of flying blood and guts in fact), and totally lacking in horrible misplaced gooey sentiment. If you want pseudo romantic tripe, there’s the third installment of Twilight coming out shortly.
A pleasant evening for the whole family from about 10 upwards, don’t forget the popcorn.