Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Adaptation
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
June 11, 2010 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: December 14, 2010
“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).
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.