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A-Team, The


Stars: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Henry Czerny, Brian Bloom

Director: Joe Carnahan

Just as full of noisy action as the old TV series, this well-cast film version runs much like a triple episode of the programme - with extra money spent on special effects and action scenes.

The plot doesn't matter a jot - but then it never did. Something to do with plates for printing money, it's merely an excuse for the gang of four to bluff and blast their way out of seemingly impossible situations.

Neeson (ironically a non-smoker) is the cigar-chomping Hannibal Smith, whom we meet assembling his team: ladies' man/con-man Face (Cooper), about to be incinerated in a tower of tyres in the opening action snippet; BA Baracus (Jackson, trying hard to live up to Mr T's iconic image, but not quite nailing the attitude); and manic pilot 'Howlin' Mad' Murdock, played by District 9's Copley who, though his Texas accent slips occasionally into his native South African, still succeeds in walking off with the film.

Biel is competent enough as the heroine, as are the villains of smarmy Wilson and the film's co-writer Bloom, who of course fatally takes his time about killing one of the team at the end. Lots of missiles, stunts and explosions: Return of the A-Team is probably just around the corner. There's a scene after the credits, but it isn't worth waiting for.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
121 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Jul 2010