A-Team, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Gerald McRaney. Action-Adventure. Written by Skip Woods and Joe Carnahan & Brian Bloom, based on the television series “The A-Team” created by Frank Lupo & Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Joe Carnahan.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The A-Team follows the daring exploits of a colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit.  Going “rogue,” they utilize their unique talents to try to clear their names and find the true culprit.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s pretty typical of what happens with a TV-to-big screen transference – the emphasis shifts from character-driven scenarios and romantic subplots with pretty guest stars to action-dominated adventure, with beginning-to-end car chases, shootouts and lots and lots of things that go boom. There are, I’m happy to say, elements in The A-Team that convince me that although we are overloaded with boring or badly executed summer “blockbusters,” the action/adventure genre is not dead. Oh, I know, those are the elements that seem to draw summer crowds – explosions and CGI effects, with each successive weekend opener trying to outdo the previous week’s comic book fantasy.

Let me ask, if you were offered an action film that was also funny and smart, wouldn’t you prefer spending your money on that over, say, The Prince of Persia (a by-the-numbers, mindless, emotionless actioneer)? Well, with the aid of Liam Neeson’s magnetic presence, director Joe Carnahan’s fast pacing, and some witty humor reminiscent of the material once infused into the TV series by its creator, Stephen J. Cannell, The A-Team proves the exception to this summer’s rule. It’s fun.

The story is a bit convoluted, but the draw is how the team will succeed with bringing a plan together. And poor Jessica Biel, playing an FBI agent after the team, does little to add to the action other than walk. I never saw someone walk so much in a film. Still, she’s got a nice walk. But, as I said, the film is fun. That’s something that hasn’t been said by me or many other critics about this summer’s batch of “blockbusters.”

One problem for me is the amount of cussing. With 25 variations of the s-word, fronted by bull, chicken or holy, one gets the impression neither writer nor cast could express frustration without its use. And where the s-word is found, can the f-word be far behind? It has its variants here, as well. And just in case you were wondering if these filmmakers are sensitive enough to avoid profaning God’s name or using Christ’s as a mere expletive – they aren’t. Now, you’ll have to forgive me for bringing up a film’s use of profanity once again. Though eye-rollers not so lovingly refer to me as a “profanity counter,” I feel an obligation to warn those who still wish to avoid movies that depict irreverence for their Creator and Savior. Evidently, the eye-rollers don’t have a problem with that. Go figure.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude comments and two obscene gestures.

Obscene Language: Around thirty obscenities, mostly the s-word, but with the f-word also well represented.

Profanity: Six misuses of Christ’s name and three uses of God’s name followed by a curse.

Violence: Mostly bloodless, mostly cartoonish, but yes, there is a lot of violent activity, including beatings, shootings, explosions, car and aircraft crashes, etc. Blood: Not much.

Sex: A pretty good kiss.

Nudity: No, no time to get naked in this one – everybody’s on the run.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Cigar smoking and some drinking in one scene.

Other: None

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Pre-teens and up

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