The A-Team

The A-Team is ready to rock—make that impatient. This sweaty, happy cartoon spectacle can’t stay still, for better and worse. The fights are chopped into a blur of fists and snaps, the smiles stay big, and as soon as Colonel Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) announces that he’s got a plan, we see it unfold in the future, as though the film simply can’t handle it’s own suspense. It’s a summer rollercoaster and a fine one, heavy on biceps and aggression and—crucially—the zinging chemistry between its four leads. They’ve all been smartly cast: Neeson’s intelligence crackles across his face like desert lightning; Sharlto Copley’s lunatic Murdock argues that the South African star of District 9 might pull off a Hollywood character actor career, Bradley Cooper remains charming and cocky and UFC champ Quentin “Rampage” Jackson makes B.A. Baracus a teddy bear with bite. He’s got the right energy and the camera likes him well enough, but this isn’t yet his break out performance—for one, he smashes all his words together when he talks. The only word we can ever make out is, “Fool,” and annoyingly, writer-director Joe Carnahan and co-writers Brian Bloom and Skip Woods make Jackson wedge it in every sentence—within 30 minutes, we’re about to crack some skulls. With a script this relentless and four actors who look like they’re having fun, this is a June blockbuster that won’t leave you feeling bloated and cheap, like you’ve had too much popcorn. Jessica Biel comports herself well as a brainy, beautiful Army captain, but the surprise stand out is Patrick Wilson. Usually, the handsome Watchmen actor is cast as a pitiable suburban husband. Here, he’s a preening CIA agent with enough ego to get everyone killed—a man you love to hate in a flick you’ll hate to love. At least, a little.

Click here for The A-Team in the IE Weekly

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