Movie Review: 'The A-Team' - In This Big Screen Adaptation, 'A' Is For Action The A-Team doesn't survive the transition from semi-beloved '80s TV series to 21st-century action movie. Exotic explosions, cascading cars and other excesses turn director Joe Carnahan's adaptation into a chaotic feature-length trailer.
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In This Big Screen Adaptation, 'A' Is For Action

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In This Big Screen Adaptation, 'A' Is For Action

Review

Movies

In This Big Screen Adaptation, 'A' Is For Action

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DEBORAH AMOS, Host:

And now we go from a movie star to a movie review. Kenneth Turan has been watching "The A-Team."

KENNETH TURAN: Just like in the 1980s, we've got team leader Hannibal Smith.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

LIAM NEESON: (as Hannibal Smith) It gets better.

TURAN: Suave lothario Face Peck.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

BRADLEY COOPER: (as Face Peck) I'm living the dream.

TURAN: Crazed pilot Howling Mad Murdock.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

SHARLTO COPLEY: (as Howling Mad Murdock) Well, we should did it, sir.

TURAN: And the muscular B.A., for Bad Attitude Baracus.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

QUINTON JACKSON: (as B.A.) Oh, hell yeah.

TURAN: The problem is not that these folks have been given too little to do, but too much. The story begins somewhere in Mexico, where bad guys are doing their worst in the hot desert sun. Before the credits are over, the four A-Team members have met via a series of improbable coincidences and discovered the virtues of working together.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

NEESON: (as Hannibal Smith) I told you you're a hell of a chopper pilot.

COPLEY: (as Howling Mad Murdock) The best, sir.

JACKSON: (as B.A.) I'm not getting on the chopper with that nut job, man.

COOPER: (as Face Peck) Yeah, that's a good - you know what, another one of your projects?

(SOUNDBITE OF POUNDING CHEST)

COPLEY: (as Howling Mad Murdock) I'm a real solider. I'm a ranger, baby.

TURAN: The film then jumps eight years and 80 successful missions later. Their next assignment involves going into Baghdad during the Iraq war and getting their hands on a - oh, who cares.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE A-TEAM")

NEESON: (as Hannibal Smith) Fire. Move.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNSHOTS)

TURAN: Writer-director Joe Carnahan was hired for the project because he's one of Hollywood go-to guys for brisk, adrenalized action, and he delivers - up to a point. He's also responsible for homilies like stuff like loyalty doesn't fit in overhead bins. These may not be words to live by, but they're the best this undernourished A-Team can come up with.

AMOS: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AMOS: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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