THE A-TEAM opens strong, showcasing each actor's strengths. Liam Neeson is cool as hell; Bradley Cooper is charming, witty and kinda a bastard; Quinton "Rampage" Jackson can fight and Sharlto Copley is the group's insane wild card. You instantly buy these guys as an unbeatable team.
Some time passes and our heroes get framed for a crime in Iraq by a rival group of government operatives. They get sent to 4 separate prisons but escape through a series of great set pieces to find the people who framed them. There's also some CIA and Dept of Defense side stories but really, this whole story is about the group bonding and shit getting blown up.
The main reason the film works is that it's completely preposterous but so aware of that fact that it almost becomes believable. They fly tanks (yes, tanks), do back flips in helicopters and survive things no human possibly could. It's ridiculous but at the same time completely f*cking awesome.
The second reason the film works is the cast. The four leads are all extremely likable and believable. Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper pretty much play the same characters they usually do but they're so damn good a it, it doesn't really matter. Rampage Jackson's acting looked a little forced at times but he was effective and never made me yearn for the actual Mr. T to play the role. Sharlto Copley really impressed me again as the slightly insane Murdock, proving his excellent performance in DISTRICT 9 wasn't a fluke. He contrasted the three bad-asses really well and truly did seem insane. The supporting cast was solid too with Patrick Wilson somehow playing an even slimier bastard than he did in HARD CANDY. Jessica Biel was hot and played her role fine and there's even a Jon Hamm cameo!
I've completely forgiven Joe Carnahan for the abomination that was his previous directorial effort, SMOKIN' ACES. If I could make just one movie a tangible being and punch it in the face, it would be SMOKIN' ACES. With NARC and THE A-TEAM though, Carnahan is now two out of three as a director in my eyes.
Character Chronicles (23 Min) - Quick Featurettes on each actor/character
Plan of Attack (30 Min) - Pretty standard studio-produced behind the scenes featurette.
Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel (10 Min) - A decent set of deleted scenes. I wouldn't have minded seeing them in the flick.