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Review: The A-Team

We love it when a plan comes together
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 18, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

Ah, The A-Team — a bonehead pleasure that helped me endure the Reagan years. The fun big-screen reboot takes the quartet of fugitive vigilantes-for-hire into the digital era, and it succeeds because director Joe Carnahan doesn't let technology overpower personality.

This origin story shows how the covert-ops team was framed for a crime. The 'Nam of the original backstory is now Iraq, but you recognize it's a war only by the hardware — the battle is strictly intramural. Our heroes embark on a pyrotechnic quest to clear their names, tangling with Army bloodhound Jessica Biel, CIA-hole Patrick Wilson, and a squadron even more rogue than themselves.

Liam Neeson provides gravitas, with a twinkle, to leader Hannibal, whose catchphrase "I love it when a plan comes together" inspires a brisk storytelling strategy in which a plan's explanation and execution are intercut. Sharlto Copley (District 9) steals the show as looney-tunes pilot Murdock.

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