June 23, 2010

The A-Team

The A-Team is a surprisingly fun and exciting update of the 1980s television show. Four rogue army rangers (Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, and Sharlto Copley) band together against a plot to make billions of dollars in counterfeit bills with U.S. currency plates, stolen by the Iraqis but now in the hands of corrupt CIA personnel. A self-serious action movie can be deadly, and it's the overarching sense of humor that gives The A-Team life and allows the audience to enjoy it.

There are two interesting questions worth exploring with The A-Team movie. First, how ironic is a movie about a plot to counterfeit U.S. money when in real life the dollar is declining in value with every passing year/month/week/day? Second, how much do we really buy/respect women in positions of power? Jessica Biel plays a tough and confident military captain at odds with the A-Team until she finds out they're good. She has an important job where she makes life and death decisions. Do we as an audience believe she can pull this off? Obviously, choosing the right actress was key in making her character strong and convincing. I think Biel as a casting choice worked well.

The standout in this film was Patrick Wilson as CIA agent Lynch. Wilson has really done well in a wide variety of films, from the musical (The Phantom of the Opera in 2004) to the drama (Little Children, 2006) to the magnormous graphic-novel-come-to-life (Watchmen, 2009). His character starts off as sort of forgettable, but as he becomes more integral to the story, Wilson displays a wonderfully comic attitude that makes him likable even when he's not supposed to be. 

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