20th Century Fox in association with Dune Entertainment, Top Cow Productions, Big Screen Productions, Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Ingenious Film Partners, Phoenix Film Partners and Scott Free Productions present…
As part of my military movie marathon, I found this story penchant in the field of soldier tactics, gallantry and hardware!!! Filled with action, thrills and comedy that makes it worth watching all over again!
Now, the film was based in an 80’s TV series that spawned so many fans in their 5 series in 4 years! I loved the show, it was like MacGyver but it’s 4 of them, from building new weapons, strategizing offensive and defensive parameters for the villains and maintaining that crazy camaraderie! It was centred on soldiers of fortune on the run from the government and helping those people who are being oppressed and in need.
Crossing paths was just the beginning of a bigger plan as Col. Hannibal Smith puts it! Making it more contemporary this was based on the Iraq war that occurred in the 90’s. The characters are all different signifying a specialization that contributes to the objectives of the mission taken.
Directed and providing Screenplay is Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) while Produced by cinema making legends Ridley Scott (G.I. Jane) and Tony Scott (Enemy of the State) and with Stephen J. Cannell who co –created the team with Frank Lupo. He was able to provide audiences well known hit TV series in the 80’s and 90’s like “The Greatest American Hero”, “Riptide”, “21 Jump Street”, “The Renegade” and my personal favourite “The Hat Squad”!
Let’s tackle the team…
The guy who still has a “hangover” with a former flame Bradley Cooper (Hangover) aka Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck for me was the breakout character, he was second in command, loves the excitement of given missions, covert ops and he knows what his doing, definitely more confident, aggressive and in spite of all that, still have his arms full of women (even if she has a girlfriend tormenting them). Bradley is slowly making his was to be the next Hollywood star to look at having the potential to be the next leading man with the likes of George Clooney, Tom Cruise and even with Tom Hanks. Well diversed in every given role he plays, in the film he makes it easy playing a soldier that can be wild with his cohorts, drama in one corner with the love of his life (right!) and action all around is all in the days work!
Former MMA player Rampage Jackson’s (Midnight Meat Train) portrayal of the Corporal Bosco “BA” Baracus was mediocre, though he still managed to give the character justification being a tough guy with a lot of heart! He was struggling to take on arms or be at peace which he reflected more into Ghandi’s way of life but in the end he found his mojo (Mohawk) back! Anything that is mechanical he can make it work and he lives by the creed of pitying anyone who needs to know a little better!
The man who was supposed to wait for three years to get himself cured, newcomer Sharlto Copley (District 9) the most entertaining from the bunch, he is still the “Howling Mad” Murdock. A Captain with superb pilot skills, a genius (at least in his own right) and keeps the team knocking their heads off, especially with BA who he had stepped on the wrong foot to begin with! He gives life to the team whether through one sided jokes or just straight up annoyance.
One of film industry’s finest actors, Liam Neeson (Kingdom of Heaven) has always been a fan favorite talent that defines direction, very instinctive and with charisma. He takes care of his boys and making sure they are out of trouble. I’m just not crazy about his lines being repeated all the time. There was this scene where Hannibal Smith keeps on calling Lynch in a cargo container; I still kept on hearing Peyton Westlake aka “Darkman” which he played in the first film of the trilogy. That was weird and the same time funny surreal!
I find their screen dynamic very credible not just being soldiers at arms but rather as brothers looking out for each other. The film gives audiences the feeling of inconsistencies but not leaving behind its intended purpose of getting the mission done and as well as being entertained.
The supporting casts such as Jessica Biel (Stealth) was very much underrated but for me, both were exceptionally profound in the delivery of their characters! They were able to act it with admonition given the levity of the situation, more so Patrick Wilson (Little Children) more so Patrick Wilson (Little Children) a CIA Top Dog who is pompous prick and a spoiled brat who gets what he wants where he wants it, still being a villain was well accepted!
There were times that certain sequences were over the top (tank from the sky and cargo containers) but still were executed very well (thanks to CGI and Green Screen). It was well-paced, entertaining, funny and action oriented like the way it was planned!
Unfortunately that’s not how fans and movie goers reacted, stating that the film only earned 176 M worldwide with 110 M budget that speaks a lot for any upcoming sequels that could have been! Critics also were not helpful given that the premise was convoluted and without regard for character development. Seriously, what do these people want from an action film that is even derivative from the original series. I do understand how Dirk Benedict (Battlestar Galactica) reaction how he just cut from the film for about a few seconds emphasizing on no respect!
It would not be much of a concern because Col. Smith always takes the plan into consideration and nothing makes him happier than a plan that comes together!