Friday, October 15, 2010

The A-Team

In 1983, a motley assortment of actors were assembled by a team of crack TV writers and sent to a TV series that was a successful as it was goofy. Today, these men are mostly forgotten but the characters they created live on. If you need a mindless way to blow a couple of hours, and if it's playing at your cineplex—maybe you can go see The A-Team.

I never saw the original TV series, though something of a fan of Stephen Cannell's work on "Maverick""Rockford Files" and an admitted fan of the short-lived, never quite realized "Greatest American Hero". (Actually, by 1983, I had already given up on the prime-time TV thing.)

I don't have a whole lot to go on, therefore, as concerns the original compared to the movie version. There's some corny patriotism, some absurd action, some silly character development—I think that all fits in with the original series.

As a summer movie, it's not—well, it's not boring. You can follow the plot and the action, and most of the action is pretty well laid out. It never really engages beyond an almost aggressively superficial level which makes one aspect of the movie very jarring to me.

In what is basically a comic book world of ridiculous stunts, tone is usually kept by minimizing any real sense of consequences for violence. (This is parodied in this "Family Guy" clip at about 2:25.) While that's mostly done here, there is a plot point involving a character killing, and the killing is shown.

It's rather seriously done and struck me as gratuitously brutal.

Anyway, the Boy was not displeased (which counts as fair prize from him for this type of movie), though the Old Man seemed a little grumpy. He thought it was corny, but in the same breath said it was like the old show in that regard—and he was a huge fan of the old show. So I think he liked it but something rubbed him the wrong way. (Maybe the passage of the past 30 years.)


  1. "though something of a fan of Stephen Cannell's work on "Maverick" "

    Excuse me? He never worked on Maverick - maybe you're thinking of The Rockford Files.

  2. You are correct, sir.

    Struck out in the post.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Big Fan of the TV Series.

    Yes, it was corny, unbelievable and cartoonish.

    But it was FUN to watch.

    And nobody died, or at least was killed that I remember.

    My guess is modern Hollywierd has trampled another good old show, like they did with The Dukes of Hazzard and damn near anything else they touch.

    I also can't believe they are redoing True Grit.

    My initial guess is they are going to boot it terribly and it will spend about 2 weeks in the first run theaters.

  4. Mostly they were true to it, I think.

    Just the killing seemed so out of place. And to make a serious plot point out of it. But I'm just guessing based on my familiarity with the genre; I never saw the show.

    As for True Grit, well, it's the Coen Brothers. So I doubt it will be run-of-the-mill, whatever else it is.

  5. I liked the Rockford Files but I really loved Nichols another James Garner show I had mentioned before.

    Maybe because the girl in it was Margot Kidder.


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