You wouldn’t think that character development would be a problem for the big screen rehash of a tv series. We already know the characters and they already know each other. Somehow, though, this movie screwed it up. In the series, the A-Team were a crack unit in Viet Nam. Here, they’re simply a group of guys thrown together who implicitly trust each other with their lives because they used to be Rangers and serendipity is cool.
That’s a minor point to be sure, but it sort of sets the stage. Everything about the film is JUST a little bit off. Fast forward eight years and countless successful missions later and the A-Team find themselves framed and imprisoned only to be sprung as part of a convoluted scheme to uncover some massive conspiracy and blah blah blah. Considering how absurd the tv show was, the fact that one can say this plot makes no sense is impressive. They took what could have been the pilot for the show and dragged it out for two hours with multiple pointless and sometimes seemingly conflicting twists. The whole thing gets really bogged down in itself and misses the point that the A-Team is supposed to have fun while blowing things up.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of action. The performances are good, but pale next to their original counterparts. The surrounding characters tend to devolve into a mishmash of shadowy government types who we don’t trust unless the script calls for it and are undone largely through their own ridiculousness. We don’t get to see our heroes outwit the best and brightest and triumph in the end, we see them stage an elaborate stage show to outsmart the Keystone cops.
In the end, the movie may not be terrible but it’s too bloated for its own good. I’m not even sure who it would really appeal to. Fun? Yes, but it’s 45 minutes or so of excitement packed into a two hour film.