Review: The A-Team

Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Liam Neeson and Quinton Jackson in The A-Team

CGI infused whodunit wannabe

The A-Team (PG-13)

Director: Joe Carnahan

Starring: Liam Neeson, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson

Genre: CGI-dependent Action

Rating: *

In one of the unimaginable action scenes, The A-Team escapes from a burning plane in a tank. The leader, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) commands his men to rotate the canon forty-five degrees and fire. This pushes the falling tank to the right which then falls into a lake, saving the four mercenaries aboard. I wondered how this stunt could have been created. But, the pre-title sequence became the horror of horrors. A rickety medical chopper does a flip and if that didn’t turn me off, it was the CGI overdose in the final action scene which did.

The A-Team has quite an outdated storyline, probably because it is based on a 1980s TV series and also the fact that there’s a less commercial movie with the same storyline, running in theatres. But, The A-Team is all glitz when compared to The Losers. Tell me if you knew any of the actors other than Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana. The A-Team is led by four well-known actors. Led by Liam Neeson, you have mixed martial artist Quinton Jackson, District 9’s Sharlto Copley and the charming dude from The Hangover, Bradley Cooper. Along with them, there’s Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel. Now, that’s a well-recognized cast. And, according to the rules of Hollywood blockbusters, a well-recognized cast can alone rake half of the budget. So add some cheesy humor pepped up with CGI devised action scenes to rake the other half and the privileges.

What irritated me the most was the hands-on experience which featured queasy-camera presentation. The cinematography was a real eyesore. If only this movie had been a 3D presentation, I’d be searching for an eye donor. Mauro Fiore presents such horrendous work with the camera.

The A-Team nevertheless entertains and no matter the goof-ups, your main preference is entertainment and The A-Team is a wise choice.

Review: Watchmen

Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II/ Laurie Jupiter
Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II/ Laurie Jupiter

Who Will Watch Watchmen?

Watchmen (R)

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Malin Akerman, Jackie Earl Haley, Billy Crudup, Carla Gugino and Patrick Wilson

Rating: **

Watchmen has the famous quote – Who Watches Watchmen. Well, who will watch Watchmen? What a waste of time! Two long hours and forty two impatient minutes! I could’ve taken a comfortable nap rather than watch an uncomfortable movie. Watchmen was a successful comic book which saw maturity and violence. The film adaptation however is a gruesome one. Severe gore and unwanted action gimmicks performed by the masked avengers does make Zack Snyder’s film a dislikeable one. Supported by a heavy B-list ensemble, DC’s vigilante comic book series is made into a pathetic film.

USSR and USA never engaged in nuclear combat during the Cold War. The Cold War was just spying on each other’s country and knowing who was technologically fit and who was economically superior. We all know the result of that. But, Watchmen’s alternative universe provides complete fascination. JFK is assassinated by the Comedian. Richard Nixon looks better in Frost/Nixon rather than in Watchmen. When did he have a nose like the bald eagle?

I have read the whole comic book series which I found half amusing. It is the perception of Americans trying to bring a future where there is no hope. All the movies – I Am Legend, Children of Men and Terminator Salvation share a common thought. The world will be destroyed by some catastrophe and there will a future of hopelessness and chaos.

Visual Effects have been thrown into Watchmen but there is not a single good visual frame. Quantum of Solace had 900 graphically created visuals and they all looked amazing. Watchmen has more than a thousand visuals which look quite normal. Zack Snyder’s previous film 300 was much better when compared to this.

Talking about the cast – Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre II may not have any proper characteristic but her Laurie Jupiter portrayal is a better one. Patrick Wilson is better as Daniel Dreiberg rather than Nite Owl. Rorschach is a good portrayal by Jackie Earl Haley. As Dr. Manhattan is a graphical representation, Billy Crudup’s sensational style and looks have been cut short to a flashback of four minutes. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Eddie Blake is probably the best of the characters for he has more screen space. Carla Gugino’s Sally Jupiter is another lively portrayal.

Watchmen’s background score and soundtracks are probably a good one. The montage during the opening credits is an amazing one. But, Snyder could have done a better job. The slowly narrated script may also be a problem.

Watchmen is certainly made for the fans of the comic book. Others back off! This isn’t a film you will enjoy. This is quite a blunder and can be avoided.