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New imagining of classic TV show 'A Team' packs quite a punch Jeri Jacquin | Mon, Jun 21 2010 02:52 PM

Director Joe Carnahan and 20th Century Fox have produced a blast from the past with "The A-Team," a cinematic re-telling of the classic TV series.

This film tells the story of Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), the leader of a highly trained and highly insane group of men who will do the impossible. Along with Smith are Face (Bradley Cooper), Baracus (Quinton Jackson) and Murdock (Sharlto Copley), who will follow him into anything.

During a mission in Iraq, Smith and his men work with Lynch (Patrick Wilson), from the CIA, and Gen. Morrison (Gerald McRaney) to retrieve moneymaking plates stolen during the war. Warning them is Agent Charis Sosa (Jessica Biel), telling them to stay out of it.

Still, Smith and his men go forward and everything goes wrong. After a trial, they are found guilty of a crime they didn't commit and are sent to jail. After six months, Lynch reappears offering the men a chance to reclaim their lives and their honor.

The chase begins as Smith and his men again go after the plates and Agent Sosa goes after the A-Team. It's down to who wants the truth more.

Final word: This was so much fun I can't stand it! Neeson as Hannibal Smith was a grand choice. He is bold, brash, has a sense of humor and is full of ideas that are insanely brilliant. Since his role in "Taken," Neeson has proven his ability to be as cool as a cucumber while still being tough as nails.

Cooper is equally as talented in the role of Face and, if I may say, the women love him. He's charming, he's a rogue and he gets the job done. Biel as Agent Sosa holds her own against the guys, but this isn't a huge stretch for her either. The character works and that's enough.

Jackson is calm and to the point as Baracas. This is a more sensitive Mr. T than some might be used to but that's what makes him good. The role now officially belongs to Jackson.

The winner here is Copley as Murdock - his is awesomely insane. In his character lies a humor that is outrageous and laugh-out-loud good. Who knew that he was so versatile after his success with the winning alien film "District 9." Copley dons a southern accent and, in the midst of comedy, uses his South African accent that brings more laughs.

Other cast include Henry Czenry as Director McCready, Yul Vasquez as Gen. Javier Tuco, Mary Sterling as Gammon, Terry Chen as Ravech, Jacob Blair as Agent Blair and Brian Bloom as Pike, the leader of the Black Forrest.

This is director Carnahan's vision and it is a fantastic one. Filled with action, blow 'em up, kiss the girl, show-the-muscle without actually showing off, playful banter with intelligence to bring the film full circle. The film is what going to the movies to have a good time is all about.

Tubs of popcorn:
I give "The A-Team" four tubs of popcorn out of five. This was a down right surprise and more fun than I could have expected. Truth be told, there is something frightening about re-creating a television series most of the time, but this film has hit dead center for fun.

From start to finish, it is an old-fashioned wild ride with fun and laughs. When leaving the film, you can't help but have a smile on your face. As Hannibal would say, "You gotta love it when a plan comes together," and this one certainly has.

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