Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 24
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

JUST AS SOON AS I GET THIS @#%&!!! LIGHTER TO WORK WE CAN START ON OUR MISSION: Colonel Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), the leader of the elite team of Army rangers, known as the A-Team, is about to give his team members details of their latest assignment in Baghdad.

The A-Team: TV Series Remake Features Pointless Parade of Pyrotechnics

Kam Williams

Directed by Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces), this adaptation of the hit TV series from the eighties remains faithful to the original by revolving around the daring exploits of an elite squad of commandos comprised of hard-nosed Colonel “Hannibal” Smith (Liam Neeson), handsome “Face” Peck (Bradley Cooper), crazy “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley), and Bad Attitude “B.A.” Baracus (Quinton Jackson). The setting for the film has been shifted to present-day Baghdad, where these one-dimensional archetypes quickly wear out their welcome on the big screen.

Duplicitous CIA Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) has given the veteran Army Rangers their assignment, which is to retrieve the counterfeit plates and billions of bogus U.S. dollars that have fallen into the hands of Iraqi insurgents.

Unfortunately, this bombastic movie’s ensuing pointless pyrotechnics and detonations that involve cars, boats, buildings, aircraft, and shipping containers is so distracting that the plot is rendered irrelevant. The movie is comprised of a series of stunts that are invariably followed by shots of the heroes giving each other high-fives.

Their antics may appeal to the ’tweener demographic, but will probably annoy nostalgic fans of the television show who may be expecting a coherent storyline. A bizarre departure arrives midway in the adventure when macho B.A. (based on the TV character Mr. T.) announces that he’s taken a vow of non-violence and refuses to fight anymore. Not to worry, his vow of pacifism is tested when the life of one of his buddies is put in danger. Fortunately Hannibal comes up with a quote from Gandhi that sanctions violence.

Meanwhile, the A-Team successfully completes their top secret mission and turns over the loot to Lynch, who, it turns out, is closely associated with a shady private security firm called Black Forest. They double-cross Hannibal and company who end up being dishonorably discharged and convicted of treason. However, the A Team escapes from their federal prison and embark on a mission to restore their good names and exact revenge on their enemies. Escapist summer fare doesn’t come any more mindless than this!

Fair (1 star). Rated PG-13 for profanity, smoking, and pervasive violence. Running time: 117 Minutes. Studio: 20th Century Fox.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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