The A-Team

Yep, good, thanks Hollywood. That’s another fond childhood memory you’ve comprehensively pissed over.
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Yep, good, thanks Hollywood. That’s another fond childhood memory you’ve comprehensively pissed over.

The new big-screen remake of The A-Team is released in cinemas on the 28th July, the latest in the current trend of making films out of things I liked when I was seven. The experience of watching this movie – as with Transformers, The Karate Kid, Clash of the Titans, etc etc – is basically a dispiriting mix of resentment, betrayal and the knowledge that some central component of who you are has irrevocably and forever been sullied. It’s what I imagine it would feel like to find out your dad was a paedophile.

So, my main memory of the film (and I’m aware this is going to make me sound like a curmudgeonly old woman) was how earsplittingly LOUD it was. At several points I had to fight the temptation to simply put my fingers in my ears – opting instead to bang repeatedly on the projectionists window with a broom handle demanding he “turn that infernal racket down!”

I don’t know if it will be as loud as that in every cinema. They may have just cranked the volume up for the press screening as some kind of pre-emptive strike to stop critics telling people how shit it is by melting our brains.

In which case, they’ve been at least partially successful. The part of my frontal lobe responsible for remembering convoluted plot details has effectively been destroyed. Despite seeing the film less than a week ago, my memory of what happens in it is distinctly shaky. There’s something about a CIA conspiracy, I remember that. And a magic machine that prints money. There’s also quite a good bit where they fly a tank.

Liam Neeson (I think) stars as Hannibal Smith, the cigar-chomping master planner of ingenious schemes. Bradley Cooper from The Hangover plays Face and Sharlto Copley, who was fantastic in last year’s Oscar-nominated sci-fi District 9, is Murdock the team’s pilot and “functioning lunatic”.

The man with the toughest gig, however, is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson who takes on the iconic role of B.A. Baracus. Mr T, the previous incumbent of that part, had a reputation for getting a little fucking tetchy at times. How do you think he’s going to react when he finds out someone’s stolen his job? Hopefully he’ll be too busy playing World of Warcraft to notice...

"I don’t know if it will be as loud as that in every cinema. They may have just cranked the volume up for the press screening to stop critics telling people how shit it is by melting our brains."

The gang seem to gel reasonably well together and, in between the spectacular stunts and explosions that make up about 90% of the film, engage in fairly amusing banter. There’s one slightly weird bit, however, where Liam Neeson quotes Gandhi (“it’s better to be violent if there’s violence in our hearts”) as a way of reassuring B.A. that gruesomely snapping the necks of your enemies is an morally acceptable thing to be doing. Um, really? I’m not sure that’s quite what Gandhi was getting at with that one was it? (I think you’ll find he’d actually prefer us to shoot them in the face with a bazooka..)

My least favourite part, is at the end where they make you wait until all the credits have finished in order to see an ‘exciting additional scene’. Does anyone else find that annoying? It’s really awkward, the film’s over and you mainly just want to leave but it feels like you’re not allowed to go until you’ve sat through whatever spurious postscript or ‘hilarious’ blooper-reel they’ve tacked onto the end.

I don’t really understand what the point of this is, why do they want us to watch all the credits? The kind of people who do that are generally weirdos who spend the rest of their time feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. They’re just trying to soak up an extra few minutes of central heating before the long trudge back to the halfway house.

According to Empire Magazine, the technical name for an end credit scene is a “Goodie,” which makes it sound like it’s something we should be grateful for. Fuck off! Bill Oddie was a Goodie. Dear departed Jade was a Goody. The bullshit bit at the end of The A-Team (that made me miss my train home, I might add) is not a goodie. It’s a baddie. Like Skeletor. Or Hitler.

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