Movie Review

The A-Team

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking.

Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
June 11, 2010 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: December 14, 2010
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

War in the Bible

Justice

Justice of God

Featuring: Bradley Cooper (Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck), Liam Neeson (Col. John “Hannibal” Smith), Jessica Biel (Capt. Charisa Sosa), Sharlto Copley (Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus), Patrick Wilson (Lynch)—“Watchmen,” Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Gerald McRaney (General Morrison), more »
Director: Joe Carnahan—“Smokin' Aces
Producer: Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Stephen J. Cannell, Jules Daly, Ross Fanger, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Spike Seldin, Iain Smith, Alex Young
Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

“There is no Plan B.”

The A-Team, an introduction (or reintroduction) to the misfit band of renegade Rangers known by the same name, appears to spare no expense as an action-packed film based on the popular 80’s television series and could be viewed as a hypothetical preface to the show rather than a remake of it. Cigar smoking leader Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) and ladies’ man Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck a.k.a. “Face” (Bradley Cooper) join forces with Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) the warrior and pilot “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley). After completing numerous successful missions, one goes sour on this Alpha Unit. Stripped of rank and dishonorably discharged, they attempt to clear their names and seek revenge. Moving fast to keep you on your toes with controlled braking for processing, anticipation and a touch of laughter, one could easily compare The A-Team with a roller coaster, not only in the speed but in the sound, which is an entertaining summer activity for some and a nightmare for others. Personally, I enjoyed the pace and didn’t have high expectations as it were as most everything from the 80s is a bit hokey. So leaving out the objectionable content, prominently the language which was at times unbearable and the excessively irritatingly predictable ‘romantic’ side story, I found it fun and entertaining, though regardless of how much it was, was not worth the language (Ephesians 4:29; James 3:9-12). Brief cameo appearances are made by two of the original four actors as a gift for those who stay through the credits. Of the remaining two, George Peppard passed away in 1994 and Mr. T wisely declined saying “It was too graphic for me.” He has said that unlike the original television series, this film is not family-friendly and I must agree.

While I would neither recommend viewing for spiritual insight, as a Christian, there were scenes and themes which particularly caught my attention. One scene in which Hannibal speaks of getting revenge instead of religion was specifically disappointing. Not that I would expect a secular film to be ‘religiously’ driven but that I would hope it wouldn’t be ‘vengeance’ driven. There is some truth in the comparison in that typically regardless of your feelings, if you chose ‘religion’ then you would not choose revenge. God clearly says that vengeance is His (Rom 12:19), so as followers of Christ we know that taking or seeking revenge is wrong and that freedom comes from forgiveness rather than revenge. One of the men did find ‘religion’ (it did not appear to be Christianity as he seemed to be focused in the particular scene on Gandhi) and struggled with his vow of peace, but more interesting than this is that Hannibal used Gandhi to justify violence and to sway his belief. The idea of Gandhi excusing violence doesn’t seem right to me, and I was unable to find any evidence to support this and gather that whatever Gandhi really said was taken out of context. This very often and easily happens to those who are not grounded in the Bible. It is an important lesson that we must study God’s Word and prove all things (1 Thess, 5:21) rather than allowing the words of another person to sway our beliefs, we should stand firm on what we know is Truth. And while on the subject of Truth, we must remember that it is not ‘religion’ which saves us but Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

Objectionable Content

This is one loud movie. With all of the explosions, gunfire and yelling, dialogue is at times covered, at least twice purposefully where we hear “motherf…” and mainly left to finish in our minds as objects blow up at just the right time muffling or muting the rest. With this in mind, some words may have been missed and a few are uncertain, but most are clear and include: sh*t -19 times (includes bullsh** chickensh** and holy sh**), d*mn—10 times (includes godd**n, da**it), a** 6 times (includes a**hole), p*ssed – 2 times, God is used a few more times as well as the Name of Jesus 4 times. The middle finger is used in place of dialogue twice and a comment about being a bad Catholic is made.

As expected there is much violence, fighting, some blood (not excessive/gory), and death. A woman is shown in her robe, mainly covered but not always completely (she is wearing a bra). There are kissing scenes between “Face” and multiple women; one who is married, another who is a stranger and a third woman who is also referred to as “Diablo” or devil throughout the film. Beer and liquor are consumed in multiple scenes.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—It’s a very “fun” action movie. I just saw it in theaters, and it was great! I was a little disappointed that the “bust out of prison” part wasn’t better, but it was still good. The fun doesn’t really begin until 30 mins. in or so, you watch the A-Team form and THEN get framed and such. Anyway… not a lot of swearing, (they start saying “MoF” a few times but the second half gets drowned out, like the last “Die Hard” movie), and the violence isn’t very heavy. There’s a little dirty talk about sex, but no nudity or sex scenes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrew Benson, age 18 (USA)
Positive—“The A-Team” is a can of soda—empty calories, full of fizz. But like a good, cold can of soda on a hot summer day, it’s curiously refreshing, tasty, and it hits the spot. The only thing that I didn’t like about the film was the camera work. I left the theater feeling very tired and wanting to go to bed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ryan O’Hara, age 18 (USA)
Positive—I really liked this film, I don’t know if it’s the same as the old A-Team, but this one was good. But the new B.A. looked nothing like Mr. T. The acting was great, and the film was hilarious, with a few cracks of the jokes and lines.

Although the reason I am rating this “offensive” is because of the language; there are almost (or over) 10 J**** or J**** C***, and I believe a middle finger. There are also several times when they say “mother****,” but the “f” part gets cut off by a bomb or something. Also, Agent “Face” who is played by Bradley Cooper is a guy who sleeps around in the movie… known as a man whore. I don’t approve of the language but, overall, I found this movie entertaining. But kids under 13 shouldn’t watch this, unless advisory from a parent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emma, age 22 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Hollywood has done it again… They have made a movie that could be entertaining and filled it with needless language that detracts from enjoying the movie. I say PASS on this movie until it’s on TV. NOT for anyone under 14 or so.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—KW, age 45 (USA)
Neutral—I will be honest with you. This movie has a medium amount of foul language (typical for a movie of this genre) and a lot of violence. I would not recommend this movie for younger audience. It is, fortunately, lacking in sexual content, except for a few innuendos.

That being said, “The A-Team” remake is one of the best action movies that has come out this year! The movie has suspense, intrigue, betrayal, espionage, and a whole lot of explosions. I did not view the original series, so I cannot comment on how it was compared to the original. Liam Neeson and Jessica Biel shined in the movie as the best actor and actress. Quinton Jackson, a former UFC fighter, takes on the role of Mr. T’s BA Baracus, and despite his limited acting resume, he did very well.

I was, also, grateful for the fact that the movie did not venture off politically and try to lecture, as is the new trend (like “The Green Zone”). It was just straight up action and adventure. One of the best of its genre this year.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Jacob Airey, age 21 (USA)
Neutral—We have a TV Guardian that omits foul language if the movie is closed captioned. It would be a big help to us if you would note whether or not movies you rate are CC, especially those action flicks with foul language. Thanks. You’re offering a needed and valuable service that honors our Lord.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Larry Meadows, age 72 (USA)
Response from editor - Thanks for your kind comments. Please keep in mind that we are rarely reviewing DVDs, videos or BluRay; we are normally reviewing motion pictures in THEATERS. At the time of review publication, we have no idea whether the later video releases (coming many months afterwards) will include Closed Captioning—or whether it will be compatible with TV Guardian. Also, even at the time of release, or thereafter, there is no authoritative, comprehensive list, to my knowledge, of Closed Captioned movies. One has to consult the individual DVD package or disc.

Also, be aware that any language guard system that relies on traditional Closed Captioning may be doomed, as technology is changing. more »
Negative
Negative—I have watched the A-Team TV series, and the movie is nothing like it. I know the TV series is not exactly great, but I think it has more moral behind it than the movie. My rating Negative.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Joanna Childress, age 20 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—The best movie ever! It was so cool and clever, and I recomend it. Nothing wrong with it either. Super entertaining and exciting and funny. It’s definetely worth the $$. Go see it. Best of the summer, I’m sure, and it’s just started. Thanks, A-Team for the best movie ever!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Noah, age 13 (Canada)
Positive—Loved this Movie!! Very funny. Everyone in my family loved it, A little sex talk, but no scenes. …bad words were less then a lot of other movies I’ve seen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Lizzie, age 15 (USA)
Positive—As far as entertaining goes, this movie was great. There were a few “bad” parts, but nothing exceptionally evil, at least as far as movies go. Judeo-Christian ethics are not supported or really damaged. Mr. T does quote Ghandi a few times. A bummer the director didn’t see fit to incorporate Yeshua into it, but that’s Hollywood for you. A few times the f-word is blocked out, but it is clear what the intent is. Other profanity is also used. This movie was quite fun to watch, especially if the viewer has even minimal prior knowledge of the A-team TV series. Action scenes are entertaining without becoming gory or pointless. All in all, a fun film, but may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hayden, age 14 (USA)
Positive—A great remake!!! Characters were great, funny, full of energy and action. Quite a few innapropriate words were used throught…overall an amazing film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jacob Atkinson, age 14 (USA)
Positive—A-TEAM was one of my favorite show It was a family friendly action show, When The A-TEAM came out me and my father got really exicted! When we went to see it was not the best of what we were execpting but the stunning FX and what little CGI in the movie was great!

The only questionable thing is the charcter Lt. “Peck” what made the show funny was that he never got the girl in this he gets a little more by kissing her, Now B.A. baracus(Rampage)was good acting but I still thought the real Mr. T should of been on there, the guy who palayed Howling mad murdock was good and so was the acting of Colonel Smith Biblically point of view was in one of the first few scenes B.A. changed his attitude to not killing and treating everyone fairly… The ending was a classic A-TEAM ending! ***Spoiler Alert*** After the credits, they show the main stars of The A-TEAM movie talking to the Stars of the Classic A-Team (all execpt Rampage talking to Mr. T.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sean M. Salas, age 13 (USA)
Neutral—I figured this movie would be interesting, since the day I saw the first preview. Although it refers to the book, there are definitely some unneeded scenes. I don’t see why Hollywood can’t try to make a COMPLETE family movie… Very disappointed… Generally, pretty good, but some awkward parts. Don’t bother watching if you have kids 12 and under.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ashdon, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I loved this movie! It was action packed, cleverly planned, and hilarious! This and Taken (Liam Neeson) are the best two action movies I have ever seen, and that is saying something because I watch a lot of action movies. As good as the movie was it didn’t go without being offensive. There were about a two dozen G—D—-s, J—— C——-s, and G—s. There was a good amount of swearing, not to mention two MFs. They said two MFs, but before they could finish any of them there was always an explosion to block the last part of the word.

There is also sexual references because Face (Bradley Cooper) is a player.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Face has an affair with a married woman and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. ***END SPOILER***

In spite of all of the offenses the movie is a good one. Baracus, a rebel, realizes how wrong it is to kill and doesn’t even if he can’t help it. But he does in the end to protect his friend. If you like action movies I guarantee that you’ll like this!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Paulina, age 17 (USA)