ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Watch..? 'The A-Team' (2010)

Updated on April 6, 2022
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin has been reviewing films online since 2004 and has seen way more action movies than he should probably admit to!

Promotional poster for "The A-Team"
Promotional poster for "The A-Team" | Source

What's the big deal?

The A-Team is an action comedy film released in 2010 and is based on the much loved Eighties TV show of the same name. The film stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Sharlto Copley as four military mercenaries who escape from prison in order to clear their names. The film, which had been stuck in development hell since the mid-Nineties, was co-written and directed by Joe Carnahan. Despite fairly mixed reaction from critics when it was released, the film went on to generate over $177 million in revenue which was considered disappointing by distributors 20th Century Fox. Although the main cast and Carnahan have expressed interest in returning for a possible sequel, it would appear that such a film is not forthcoming any time soon due to lack of interest from anyone else.


2 stars for The A-Team

What's it about?

Eight years after escaping from a renegade general in Mexico, US Ranger John "Hannibal" Smith is operating in Iraq with the rest of his team - Templeton "Faceman" Peck, B.A. Baracus and pilot Howling Mad Murdock. Approached by a CIA agent named Lynch, Hannibal and his men are recruited for a black ops mission to retrieve stolen US Treasury plates and $1 billion from a group of Iraqi insurgents. With the mission authorised by General Morrison, they manage to return successfully but things take a sudden twist as the vehicles carrying the money and Morrison are blown up by Brock Pike and members of his private security firm. Framed for stealing the loot in the first place, the four men are arrested.

Six months later and Hannibal is visited once again by Lynch who tells him that Pike is trying to sell the plates with the help of an Arab backer. Hannibal does a deal with Lynch - if they can stop Pike and recover the plates, he and his men are given full pardons and clean records. Lynch agrees and before long, Hannibal is reunited with Faceman, B.A. and Murdock and they set off to recover the plates. But behind them every step of the way is Faceman's former girlfriend and DCIS lieutenant Charissa Sosa who is determined to keep the men behind bars for good.

Teaser Trailer

What's to like?

The A-Team was never a seriously violent show - it was goofy and mostly family friendly as none of the bad guys were ever killed (only five characters were ever killed on screen over the show's five seasons). So it should come as no surprise that the action in The A-Team is also elevated to truly ridiculous levels, encapsulated by the A-Team's escape from a crashing plane in a tank that happens to have several parachutes. Younger viewers will probably enjoy the lunacy but personally, I wondered why they'd turned the show into a moronic physics lesson.

The show also had a strong comedic element with all four principal actors contributing, especially Dwight Schultz as Murdock. Accordingly, the script for the movie pauses long enough in between set pieces to allow some banter between the four actors here. Jackson acquits himself well enough in a role that is so strongly associated with Mr T and sure enough, he and Copley exchange moments reminiscent of the show. But it feels half-hearted and disingenuous, as though they were afraid of disrespecting the show's still-loyal fan-base. Such fears, I suspect, are well founded.

Neeson looks as uncomfortable as the rest of the cast
Neeson looks as uncomfortable as the rest of the cast | Source

Fun Facts

  • Baracus has the words "Pity" and "Fool" on his knuckles, as a tribute to Mr T's catchphrase from Rocky III. Contrary to popular belief, Mr T never actually said "I pity the fool" in the show but in a press conference during Sly's boxing sequel.
  • Dirk Benedict, who played Faceman in the original show, regretted making a cameo appearance in the movie and apparently refuses to watch the film version.
  • Early in the film, Hannibal refers to Pike as a cartoon character. Brian Bloom, who plays Pike, has spent most of his acting career as a voice-over artist for cartoon and video game performances.

What's not to like?

None of the cast really delivers a knock-out performance which prevents the film from getting out of first gear. They try very hard to match the over-the-top antics of the show but the film falls dreadfully short of being anything like as enjoyable. The action, which is typical of screenwriter Skip Woods (who was also behind the disappointing likes of Hitman, A Good Day To Die Hard and X-Men Origins: Wolverine), is utterly devoid of logic, reason and cohesion - it's very noisy and hastily edited together but you have no real idea what's going on. And not just in the action scenes - the story disappears from view quicker than a rat up a drainpipe (even the film's Wikipedia page sounds like it's clutching at straws) and anyone who isn't a member of the A-Team is utterly forgettable and frankly, a target.

The problem is the very concept of the project itself. The A-Team is such an iconic Eighties show that rebooting it in modern times simply feels wrong. What they should have done is retain the Eighties setting - imagine how old-fashioned Starsky & Hutch would have felt if Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller were driving their Ford Torino through cardboard boxes in the 21st century. Even the characters are essentially Eighties throwbacks - was there anyone more definitively of the decade than Mr T and his 40 lbs of gold around his neck? Jackson was never going to fit the role as well and the same is arguably true of the others. Copley isn't as funny as Schultz was, Cooper doesn't feel like he fits in the film at all while Neeson's performance is a poor imitation of George Peppard. The whole thing feels... well, unnecessary.

UFC fighter Jackson struggles to escape the memory of Eighties icon Mr T as B.A. Baracus
UFC fighter Jackson struggles to escape the memory of Eighties icon Mr T as B.A. Baracus | Source

Should I watch it?

Anyone too young to remember the original show will certainly enjoy the film more than those of us looking back through our rose-tinted spectacles. Its goofy action and interesting band of military misfits makes The A-Team a mildly distracting and slightly stupid action film. But a warning to those who recall the famous theme tune, the opening narration and the iconic logo riddled with bullets - this is a film that will make you shed real tears of pain.

Great For: anyone with no exposure to the original show, ADHD sufferers, anyone who prefers explosions to exposition

Not So Great For: fans of the show, nostalgic viewers, anyone waiting for a decent TV-show-based movie to come along...

What else should I watch?

The wait goes on for a decent movie based on a TV show. The likes of Bewitched, Charlie's Angels, The Avengers, Lost In Space and many others have all tried and failed to crack the box office. I suspect that viewers are a big more savvy that producers would acknowledge - after all, who is going to pay to watch a different version of their favourite TV show, just because it's on a bigger screen?

If you haven't got access to The A-Team boxset then there are plenty of movies to sate your appetite for crazy, implausible, high octane hijinks. Crank is a full-throttle excuse in mindless violence and bad taste, Taken sees Liam Neeson in a very darker light indeed without scrimping on the fisticuffs while superhero films can now enjoy all their costumed idols in one place thanks to Marvel's epic Avengers Assemble.

Main Cast

Liam Neeson
John "Hannibal" Smith
Bradley Cooper
Templeton "Faceman" Peck
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Bosco "B.A." Baracus
Sharlto Copley
Captain H.M. Murdock
Jessica Biel
Charissa Sosa
Patrick Wilson
Gerald McRaney
General Russell Morrison

Technical Info

Joe Carnahan
Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom & Skip Woods *
Running Time
117 minutes
Release Date (UK)
30th July, 2010
Action, Comedy, Thriller

* based on the TV show "The A-Team" by Frank Lupo & Stephen J. Cannell

© 2015 Benjamin Cox


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)