220px-A team poster 10

Promotional film poster

The A-Team is a 2010 American action film based on the television series of the same name. It was released in cinemas in the United States on June 11, 2010 by 20th Century Fox.[1] The film was directed by Joe Carnahan and produced by Stephen J. Cannell,[2] and brothers Ridley and Tony Scott.[3][4]

The film has been in development since the mid 1990s, having gone through a number of writers and story ideas, and being put on hold a number of times. Producer Stephen J. Cannell wished to update the setting, perhaps using the first Gulf War as part of the backstory.[5]

The film stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, and Sharlto Copley as The A-Team, an elite army team, imprisoned for a Miscarriage of justice. They escape and set out to clear their name. Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson and Brian Bloom are in supporting roles.

The film received mixed reviews from critics,[6] and performed slightly below expectations at the box office.[7] The reception from the cast of the original television series was also mixed.[8]

Plot Edit

John "Hannibal" Smith (Liam Neeson) is held captive in Mexico by two corrupt Mexican police officers working for the renegade General Javier Tuco (Yul Vazquez). Hannibal escapes and sets out to rescue Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Bradley Cooper), who is held captive at Tuco's ranch. Hannibal saves Face after enlisting fellow Ranger Bosco Albert "B.A." Baracus (Quinton Jackson), driving to the rescue in B.A.'s modified GMC Vandura van.[9] Pursued by Tuco, they stop at a nearby Army hospital to recruit the services of eccentric pilot H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Sharlto Copley). They flee in a medical helicopter, chased by Tuco in a dogfight which leaves B.A. with a fear of flying. The battle ends when they lure Tuco's helicopter into American airspace, where it's destroyed by a U.S. F-22 Raptor, as Hannibal planned.

"Eight years and eighty successful missions later," the team is a highly-regarded elite Special Forces unit stationed in Iraq. Hannibal is contacted by CIA SAD agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson), who reveals that Iraqi insurgents possess U.S. Treasury plates that could be used to manufacture U.S. currency. Lynch wants Hannibal and his team to steal the plates and over $1 billion in cash that is due to be moved out of Baghdad in a Heavily-protected convoy. DCIS Captain Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel) arrives and warns Face, her former lover (whom she left after he became serious about their relationship), to stay away from the plates. Against the advice of his commanding officer, General Russell Morrison (Gerald McRaney), Hannibal agrees to steal the plates in an unofficial black ops mission. The mission is successful, but when the team returns to base, the money, plates, and Morrison's vehicle are destroyed by Brock Pike (Brian Bloom) and his men from the private security firm Black Forest. Without Morrison, the only proof that they were authorized to act, the team is sentenced to ten years in prison and dishonorably discharged.

Six months later, Hannibal is visited in prison by Lynch. Lynch reveals that Pike may be trying to sell the plates with the help of an Arab backer. Hannibal, who has been tracking Pike on his own, makes a deal with Lynch: full reinstatement and clean records for his team in return for the plates. Lynch agrees and Hannibal escapes, then breaks out the rest of the team. In a slight hitch, B.A. Baracus has turned to pacifism during his time in prison, and refuses to kill or hurt anyone. Sosa is hot on their trail, and angry after being demoted to Lieutenant after the team ignored her warning. Believing the team is working with Pike, she tries to intercept them before they leave Germany in a military C-130 transport aircraft. The plane is destroyed by drone fighters, but the team escapes inside the body of a tank on 3 parachutes.

They track Pike and launch an offensive to reclaim the plates and kidnap Pike's backer. The team learns that the backer is actually General Morrison, who worked with Lynch and Pike to steal the plates, but then teamed up with Pike to double-cross Lynch and fake his death. When Lynch learns that the team has Morrison, he orders an air strike to eliminate them. The team barely escapes but Morrison is killed.

Face hatches a plan. Hannibal arranges to meet Sosa, knowing her phone lines are tapped by Lynch, on board a container ship at a Los Angeles dock, saying he will hand over Morrison and the plates in exchange for his freedom. Ultimately, Face's plan works and Pike is killed (by B.A., who has come to terms with the use of force), Lynch is taken into custody, and the plates are recovered. Despite their success, the A-Team is arrested for escaping incarceration. Sosa is promoted back to Captain for retrieving the plates and apprehending the A-Team, but she promises to do all she can to set them free before kissing Face as he is led into a prison van. In the van, Face opens his mouth and smiles triumphantly around the key on his tongue, given to him by Sosa through the kiss. "I love it when a plan comes together!" he crows as his teammates laugh.

The film closes with narration (provided by Corey Burton) reminiscent of the original television series' opening credits, stating that the team now live as soldiers of fortune.[10]

In a post-credits scene, Face walks to the tanning bed in prison, asking the man emerging from the tanning bed how to protect his face. The man (Dirk Benedict) tells him, "You don't mess with it, kid." In the next scene, Murdock receives electro-shock therapy, while two doctors look on. One of them (Dwight Schultz) comments on Murdock's state of mind, saying "This guy, Murdock, is nuts." In the extended cut on DVD and Blu-ray these scenes are put back into the film, and removed from the credits.

Cast Edit

In a post-credits scene, original series actors Dirk Benedict (Face) and Dwight Schultz (Murdock) have cameos with their film equivalents Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley. Benedict plays Face's fellow tanning bed client, credited as "Pensacola Prisoner Milt," and Schultz plays one of two neurologists observing Murdock during a shock-therapy session.

Production Edit

The entire film was shot at various locations in Canada including Kamloops, Cache Creek and Ashcroft,[14] British Columbia, with much of the studio works being done at Mammoth Studios.[12][15][16][17] Other footage was included as well, such as aerial shots of Cologne (though falsely referred to as Frankfurt in the movie).[18] Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake is also featured in the German escape scene where a number of base buildings and landmarks are clearly visible, as is the false canopy painted under the F-18s. The Canadian Forces Air Command is the only one to have the false canopy painted on the bottom. American markings were digitally added later.

Development Edit

The film has been in development since the mid 1990s, going through a number of writers and story ideas, and being put on hold a number of times. Producer Stephen J. Cannell hoped to update the setting, perhaps using the first Gulf War as part of the backstory.[19] John Singleton was initially assigned to direct, but in October 2008 he pulled out of the project.[20] When Singleton was still attached to the project as director, Ice Cube was approached for the role of B.A. Baracus.[21]

In June 2009, Variety revealed that Liam Neeson was in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to star as Hannibal Smith,[22] and Bradley Cooper announced to MTV NewsTemplate:Citation needed that he will be playing the role of Templeton Peck after he first denied the rumors saying that he was not involved and insisted that he had not seen any script.[23]

The production budget for the film was $110 million,[24][25] but the cost came in at $100 million after tax credits.[7]

Casting Edit

On August 26, 2009, reported that mixed martial arts fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would play the role of B.A. Baracus in the upcoming film,[26] but this was later denied by a representative for Jackson.[27] In September 2009, The Vancouver Sun suggested that Jackson has been attached to the role and was postponing his fight at UFC 107 with Rashad Evans due to filming for The A-Team. Filming started in Vancouver in late 2009, and Jackson's involvement was then confirmed.[28][29]

On September 15, 2009, Variety confirmed the casting of Neeson, Cooper and Jackson. They additionally reported that Sharlto Copley and Jessica Biel were in final negotiations to join the cast. Copley would be playing the role of H.M. Murdock and Biel would be playing the ex-lover of Face who is a disillusioned and ruthless Army officer in charge of pursuing the team.[30] 20th Century Fox later confirmed that Copley and Biel were cast in the film.[12]

On September 30, 2009, Liam Neeson and the rest of the cast were seen filming scenes in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as shooting got under way.[31] The first official pictures of Neeson, Cooper, Copley and Jackson in character were soon released, including one which features the iconic van in the background.[17]

On October 30, 2009, Dwight Schultz confirmed that he had filmed a cameo scene for the movie.[32] This news was followed on the November 23, 2009, that Dirk Benedict would also make a cameo.[33] Schultz and Benedict played H.M. Murdock and Templeton "Faceman" Peck respectively in the original series.

Music Edit

Score Edit

On December 1, 2009, it was announced that Alan Silvestri would compose the film score.[34] Silvestri recorded his score with a 90-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.[35]

Soundtrack Edit

The A-Team (2010)

Template:Album ratings The soundtrack album of The A-Team was released on June 21, 2010 by Varèse Sarabande

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Marketing Edit

Comics Edit

In February 2010, it was announced a series of comics for the movie would be released beginning in March. The comics will be published by IDW Publishing and will be written by Carnahan and Chuck Dixon. A toy line by Jazwares is also to be released to coincide with the film.[36]

Video game Edit

An application for the iPhone was released as part of the marketing blitz for the film. The A-Team application is a side-scrolling, third person, action shooter game. Produced by RealNetworks, Inc. the game includes voice-overs from B.A. Baracus.[37]

Release Edit

The film's first trailer was released January 8, 2010.[38]Template:Citation needed The film's second trailer was released April 1, 2010.[39]

The film premiered in Los Angeles on Thursday June 3, 2010, at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Liam Neeson arrived in The A-Team custom Chevrolet G20 van; Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley rode in on a real U.S. Army tank.[40][41]

The film premiered in the United Kingdom on Tuesday July 27, before going on general release the next day. The event was attended by the four team members along with Jessica Biel, and the A-Team van.[42]

Reception Edit

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Critical responseEdit

Template:Anchor The film received mixed reviews.[6] Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a normalized score of 47% based on 193 reviews (Top Critics: 44%; RT Community: 75%), with an average score of 5.3/10.[43] The critical consensus is: For better and for worse, Joe Carnahan's big-screen version of The A-Team captures the superficial, noisy spirit of the TV series.[43] Review aggregate Metacritic calculated a weighted average score of 47% based on 37 reviews.[6] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly says of the film: "It's trash so compacted it glows". He gives the film a grade of B+.[44]

Richard Corliss of TIME magazine calls the film "the best in a mediocre line-up of summer-action flicks". He goes on to say the film lacks "a coherent plot and complex characterization", though he does note that these qualities "are irrelevant to the genre".[45] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine calls the film, "big, loud, ludicrous and edited into visual incomprehension," but "pity the fool who lets that stand in the way of enjoying The A-Team". He gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4.[46] In contrast, Lou Lumenick of The New York Post, who titled his piece "Pity the fool who sees The A-Team", is among the most critical, calling the film "overlong, overblown and utterly forgettable."[47] The Hollywood Reporter criticizes the film's story, character development and logic, calling it "nearly writer-free,"[48] whilst The St. Petersburg Times was far more positive, calling the film "literally a blast" from start to finish, and praises it for "containing more thrills than the average shoot-em-up".[49]

Film critic Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times was especially critical, rating the film just one and a half out of a possible four stars, and said The A-Team is an incomprehensible mess, criticizing the film for being as shallow as the television series, which he describes as "punishment" when drawn out to a two-hour long film.[50] Stephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger complains the film makers remembered little more from the television series than a Dirty Dozen gimmick and compares the film to the "awful" Smokin' Aces by the same director. He suggests a better plan would be to rent The Losers or wait for The Expendables. He concludes The A-Team is only C-grade.[51]

Comments by original cast Edit

Dirk Benedict, the original Templeton Peck, spoke of regretting his cameo, stating "You'll miss me if you blink. I kind of regret doing it because it's a non-part. They wanted to be able to say, 'Oh yeah, the original cast are in it,' but we're not. It is three seconds. It's kind of insulting."[52]

Mr. T, the original B. A. Baracus, was offered a cameo, but turned it down.[53] In a 2010 interview with Script magazine director Joe Carnahan reported that Mr. T, after viewing scenes from the film, thought the final product was "the greatest thing in the world".[8] After the premiere of the film Mr. T allegedly stated that he had become disillusioned and felt the story emphasized sex and violence, and that it was unfaithful to the original series.[54] An attorney for Mr. T later stated that the actor had not yet seen the film and could not comment on it.[55]

Dwight Schultz, who played the TV series' "Howling Mad" Murdock, issued a statement to his official fansite that the film "pays homage to the series while it eschews its essential working premise: a band of capable military brothers for hire determined to save underdog and usually poor civilians from scum." However, Schultz did acknowledge that the movie is not faithful to the TV series. "The team characters are sufficiently different and, with so many roles reversed from the original, one could say they are not really derivative, save for their names." He also noted that Sharlto Copley's Murdock "is faithful to the original, but at the same time is big screen twisted and right at home with the new team."

In the psychiatric hospital scene, Reginald Barclay, Schultz's character from Star Trek: The Next Generation, is credited during the opening title of a film, as is L.T. Starbuck, referencing Lieutenant Starbuck, Benedict's character from the original Battlestar Galactica."[56]

Box office Edit

The film has had an average performance at the box office. It fell slightly short of expectations for its opening weekend, earning $26 million, as opposed to the initially predicted $30–35 million.[7] The film opened behind The Karate Kid, which took in $56 million.[57][58] The film opened in the U.K./Ireland on July 28, 2010, and came at #3 in at the box office with a first weekend haul of $5.6 million.[24] As of August 26, 2010, The A-Team has taken over $77 million at the U.S. box office, and $99 million internationally, for a worldwide total of over $176 million.[24]

Home media Edit

Template:Anchor The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc December 14, 2010.[59] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 27 in Australia and on November 29, 2010 in the U.K.

An extended cut was also released.[60] Two of the most noteworthy additions in the extended cut were the two cameo scenes of the original Face and Murdock, which were pushed back after the end credits in the original cut due to pacing.

Sequels Edit

Template:Anchor Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton Jackson have expressed interest in doing a sequel.[61][62] Joe Carnahan has expressed interest in directing a sequel and said it will depend on DVD & Blu-ray sales and rentals.[63]

On March 10, 2011, Bradley Cooper stated that the film had not generated enough revenue for there to be a sequel.[64]

References Edit

  1. Plan Coming Together for The A-Team, Variety, March 19, 2008
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  8. 8.0 8.1 "There is No Plan B: Roundtable with The A-Team Writers", Script 16 (3), May/June 2010, p. 46 sqq.; cf. William Martell, Template:Youtube
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External links Edit

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Template:The A-Team Template:Joe Carnahan

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