I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to our readers. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.
There’s no way on God’s green Earth that I should have posted my cousin Shawn’s review of “The A-Team.” He was giddy with joy, bubbling with a childlike excitement over this reboot of the 1980s television show about a group of Army Rangers wrongly arrested, but who break out of jail and work as soldiers of fortune — helping the most needy along the way. He posted publicly on facebook that it was far better and more enjoyable than the Academy Award-nominated “Black Swan.” I never should have posted that review, in which he gave it a 7 out of 10.
I promised in our podcast that I would watch the A-Team and give my honest opinion of it. Shawn said I had been unfair to the movie, since I lambasted it when it hadn’t even hit theater. I listed it as a movie you shouldn’t waste your money on this summer.
Well, my wife and I sat down to watch this over the weekend, and I have to say, that those are some of the worst 117 minutes I have ever spent in my life. This film embodies everything that is wrong with Hollywood. It’s full of moronic dialogue, hokey plots, action that is simply insulting to your intelligence, wooden acting, and a source material that was recycled from a television show that was never even good to begin with.
The film starts out with Liam Neeson’s character being absolutely pummeled by two hulks that are just throwing haymakers at his face while he’s strapped to a chair. He, of course, has a key hidden in his mouth and escapes — WITHOUT A MARK ON HIS FACE. After he escapes, he just randomly comes across three other Army Rangers on three separate occasions within minutes who come together joyously as The A-Team. Isn’t that special?
Later, the crew gets shot down in a plane and escape in a tank in the sky. Naturally, the tank has some parachutes attached. While falling, they shoot down drones that are firing at them. Obviously, you can’t land a tank — let’s not ask ourselves, then, why it has parachutes — so they fire the cannon with great precision to direct the plummeting tank — now down to one parachute from three — and land it safely in a lake. They then drive out of the lake. Naturally. Somewhere in there is a plot about forfeiting and espionage. It’s not worth getting into.
This film has an i.q. equal to the rating I give it — a big fat 2.
Top 5 Movies Shawn Was Right About
I tease my cousin Shawn about his taste in movies a little more than I probably should.
Shawn loves classic, critically-acclaimed cinema as much as I do, but he also loves shoot-em-ups, science-fiction, and action movies I would never even consider watching. He loves the, and I quote, “‘splosions,” and “pew pew.” He said he enjoyed “The A-Team” more than “Black Swan,” and said “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was good.
He can be sentimental, too, for movies like “Shrek Forever After.” He loves TV, which I don’t. But he does a superb job on our sister blog, TV-Tastic.
I ran him through the ringer for his review of “The A-Team” and I figured since I beat him up all the time, I should do a Top 5 list of movies Shawn was right about.
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: In this case, I thought this installment of the Star Trek film franchise was silly and far too wide a sidestep from the franchise. Shawn, a giant Trekker of the most massive scale, explained to me that I shouldn’t over think it. This is the Star Trek comedy. I hadn’t watched it in a long time and went back for a second viewing. Shawn was right. This is a lighthearted, fun Star Trek adventure that is very accessible and I enjoyed far more the second go around.
4. X-Men: Before going to see this in the theater with Shawn, I really thought it wasn’t going to work. With a massive cast and so many characters to develop in the huge X-Men Universe, I didn’t think they could pull it off. I really wasn’t amped about seeing it, but Shawn really wanted to go. And he was right. It was a blast. The Wolverine performance by Hugh Jackman remains among the best ever in comic book films. I was wrong, yet again.
3. Mr. Brooks: This was a movie I totally would have overlooked. Kevin Costner has passed his peak, and I don’t really seek out his films anymore. But Shawn reviewed this film for us, and based on his recommendation, I checked it out. Very solid little psycho-drama, mystery movie with a really good performance by Costner. Good choice, Shawn.
2. The Other Guys: This was another one of those movies I would have passed over. I like Will Ferrell, and all, but another buddy police comedy? Like that hasn’t been done? Well, this happens to be one of the best ones. We laughed often and hard in the theater when we went to see it. We had a blast, and I’m glad he got me to go.
1. The Matrix: Man oh man oh man, was I wrong about this one. Because Keanu Reeves was in this, I instantly wrote it off as a crap-fest of epic proportions and literally scoffed at Shawn when he glowed about it to me over coffee. When I finally got around to seeing this on video — God, was I late to the party — I was hooked on “The Matrix.” This is one of the best action/sci-fi films of all time. While the sequels may have left a bad taste in our collective mouths, the original remains a modern classic.
Shawn 5, Matt 0.
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