Give it up to the A-Team: they’ve always been good at demolishing things in big, big ways. Freed from the confines of the 1980s TV series, the 2010 blockbuster movie version allows the four members of the paramilitary squad to really amp up the mayhem to newly crazed heights. Liam Neeson plays team leader Hannibal Smith (inheriting the cigar-chomping from the show’s George Peppard), and pro wrestler Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is “B.A.” Baracus, the TV show’s most iconic character (insert Mr. T “I pity the fool” joke here). As the vain Face, Bradley Cooper preens in convincing fashion, and District 9 out-of-nowhere star Sharlto Copley plays the unhinged pilot “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock. These boys are on the trail of some money-counterfeiting plates, from Bagdad to Germany to places in between. It would be understating it to say that the plot is not of primary importance, although Patrick Wilson has some fun as a CIA official and Jessica Biel occasionally strikes poses as Face’s ex-flame, now a military officer displeased with the A-Team’s extra-legal shenanigans. The storytelling is insipid and half-hearted–but when it comes to snarky dialogue and two-fisted action scenes, director Joe Carnahan is in his comfort zone. It’s reasonably fun watching the working-out of such logistical puzzles as dropping a tank (with crew inside) from a plane, or scattering the main characters on a dockside as cargo containers rain down from a ship looming above them. Good times, although is it asking too much for certain basic laws of physics (if you drop a human body ten stories, for instance, it might actually sustain injuries) to be used as a guideline? But worrying about such matters isn’t in the spirit of The A-Team, which cheerfully ignores the petty concerns of credibility and logic.

Studio: 20th Century Fox
Year: 2010
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Run time: 118 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD50 / Digital Copy
Region: A

The movie begins in Mexico, where Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson taking the part of George Peppard) is about to get a bullet in the head for bribing (obviously) the wrong cop. B.A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson taking the part of Mr. T., complete with “PITY” and “FOOL” on his knuckles) is down the road a piece, fighting a bunch of dirtbags over his van. Face (Bradley Cooper, taking the place of Dirk Benedict) is still the ladies’ man. As a matter of fact, he is wedged into several truck tires while some woman’s husband is beating him in the face for boinking his wife. Hannibal and BA arrive just in time to save Face from becoming toast. Crazy-as-a-bed-bug Murdock is discovered in a hospital while they are getting BA stitched up. All 4 guys are former Rangers so they bond big time.

Murdock is still an unmatched pilot. BA still has to be medicated to fly. Hannibal still chomps a cigar. And Face is still Face. Right after they cross the border back into the USA, they get involved in trying to acquire some $100 counterfeit plates, being moved by Saddam loyalists from Bagdad, and, oh yeah, over $1 billion in cold phony bills.

Much of this 2010 movie is filmed in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. It’s about 2 hours of action and comedy. Steven Cannell is involved in the production, as with the popular series from the “old” days. They kept the integrity of the oh-so-popular series with lots of action and lots of comedy. There are tons of neat stunts, although some may be pretty close to impossible. But what the heck–that’s what makes a movie like this fun! We have chopper and airplane stunt flying, action on a container ship, and the strategizing of perfectly timed plans, among other adventures the boys have.
Movie Content: 9.5/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. “A-Team” is a pleasant surprise exceeding my expectations. Having been a fan of the original television series, a lot of aspects carry over to the picture quality helping preserve some of the things that made the original so good besides the cast. The one thing I was happy to see return is the grittiness of the television show. There is grit and darker colors that are used throughout the entire film. This helps set the tone and mood throughout the entire film. Colors are deep and well saturated throughout the entire presentation. I found blacks to be strong and inky. Flesh tones are also natural. All this adds to a very good image presentation on Blu-ray which fans of the film and television series will feel right at home.
Video Quality: 9.5/10

The audio mix is presented in DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio lossless track. “A-Team” is a very explosive film from the start filling the soundfield as if you are in the middle of the action. What this film does is fill the missing gap the last few years with over the top action sequences. There are a lot here which works well with the audio mix giving this a demo worthy experience. Panning effects are very well done as you hear bullets whizzing from speaker to speaker. The sound is very crisp throughout. Bass is punchy and gives explosions that extra bump. Dialogue is clean through the center channel and is nice and loud.
Audio Quality: 10/10

Special Features

  • Theatrical Version
  • Extended Version
  • The Devil’s in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • A-Team Theme Mash-Up Montage
  • Plan of Attack
  • Character Chronicles
  • Visual Effects Before and After with Commentary by Visual Effects Supervisor James E. Price
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital Copy

Special Features: 7/10

Final Thoughts

I was not expecting much from “A-Team” as a movie going in, but my expectations were exceeded with this film. Being a fan of the television series, I felt right at home with the movie yet this one was over the top action. Near demo video and having demo worthy audio, this is one that is worth for action fans to take a look at.
Overall Rating: 9/10