Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The A-Team, nuff said

Last Friday I was able to relive my childhood as the new A-Team movie opened nationwide. As a kid, I loved the A-Team and Knight Rider. If I wasn’t a good boy, my parents wouldn’t let me watch these shows. That was great motivation to behave.  For the sake of brevity I won't discuss the latest remake attempts of Knight Rider.

I don’t often do movie reviews but here’s a hacked review of the movie. Warning: spoiler alerts galore here.

As a TV show, the A-Team and its creators changed the way action shows were filmed. The whole camera-on-the-ground-with-the-car-driving-over-it effect was done first on the A-Team. The original show also provided a lot of action without a lot of gore. Watching the show now in reruns on Centric, it looks like an 80’s cheese show but in the day it was very cool stuff with a wide fan base.

The movie isn’t exactly a continuation of the TV show but rather an adaptation of the story in modern times. The movie shows how the team forms, gets court martialed, escapes, and then ends up as soldiers of fortune. It uses the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as the backdrop. From there on the story rings true to the A-Team and the cast fills the roles of the traditional characters with ease. The story is exaggerated with over the top special effects but believable within the A-Team paradigm. I was impressed with the conservative language and general modesty of the movie, especially considering the Face character.

I was surprised to learn that they shot the entire moving in Vancouver. The movie covers Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, Los Angeles, Germany, and more but they shot the entire thing over 5 months in one location.

My A-Team and Star Trek fandom collided together during my Star Trek days as I was able to meet Dirk Benedict (Face) and Dwight Schultz (Murdock). Dirk was in many Sci-Fi TV series and Dwight was in Star Trek: the Next Generation as well as Star Trek: Voyager. Both are also in the new A-Team movie but you have to sit through the credits to catch the cameos. Face with Face and Murdock with Murdock. Very funny.

I knew from reading a review that there was a special treat for the TV shows fans if they stayed through the end of the credits. So while watching them I saw Dwight Schultz as German Doctor #1 but I couldn’t remember having actually seen him in the film. It all made sense when I saw the ending so it was like a mini-spoiler having seen his name in the credits before he actually appeared on the screen.

All in all this is a great continuation of the story and I hope they make a sequel. If you’re not humming the theme song by now you really should be, that is if you consider yourself a true A-Team fan.  And yes, I still have my action figures and A-Team van Matchbox car.