(Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Gerald McRaney, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2010 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Give it up to the A-Team: they've always been good at demolishing things in big, big ways. Freed from the confines of the 1980s TV series, the 2010 blockbuster movie version allows the four members of the paramilitary squad to really amp up the mayhem to newly crazed heights!
DVD Verdict: I pity the fool who expects the movie version of "The A-Team" to perfectly reflect the original TV series. A big, broad, messy love letter of a movie to the TV show "The A-Team" may be a narrative mess but it is entertaining and it's just like watching a tank crash...a car crash. Directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan ("Narc", "Smokin' Aces"), "The A-Team" works primarily because of the charm of the cast and the non-stop action.
When Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson)and his group of U.S. Special Forces Airborne Rangers -"Face" (Bradley Cooper), "B.A." (Quinton Jackson) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley of "District 9")are framed for stealing conterfeit plates in Iraq all four are court martialed and thrown into prison.
The four find an unlikely ally in a rogue CIA agent named Lynch (Patrick Wilson)who helps them break out of prison to locate the plates and the man who stole them--Pike (Brian Bloom). The A-Team has to stay ahead of Face's former girlfriend Lt. Sosa (Jessica Biel)who with her team are hot on the trial of the team but suspects that they are innocent.
The team must figure out where Pike is and the plates in order to exonerate themselves. Watch for an entertaining cameo from Jon Ham ("Madmen") at the conclusion of the film and the marvelous character actor Henry Czerny ("Mission: Impossible") who needs to be utilized better by Hollywood as he's a terrific character actor.
The main flaw with the film is that the writers and director have to set up the entire premise AND break them out, resolve who framed them and keep it moving/entertaining the entire two hours. It's a daunting task and I'd never accuse someone of trying to stuff too much plot into a movie but with this much action it's very very difficult to try and set up action set pieces, develop characters and resolve a convoluted plot in one movie. If there had been a guarantee of a sequel they might have been able to carry their search for who set them up for other films and allowed a bit more breathing room for the plot.
The Blu-ray for "The A-Team" looks quite nice with a sharp looking transfer and plenty of extras that include "Inside the Action" The Devil is in The Details" a commentary featuring the director who discloses everything from the fact that the scene involving the military city was built in a bit where they were in the process of building a Walmart to the use of CGI to remove moths from a scene that were circling around the bright lights. Periodically the audio commentary becomes a PIP with the director appearing along with animatics and/or behind-the-scenes footage.
We also get a visual effects reel with before and after images and commentary. Deleted scenes are included as well as a gag reel for the film. There are some other featurettes that are included as well. [WK]
This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Feature Audio Commentary with Joe Carnahan
A-Team Theme Mash-Up Montage