Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A-Team Remake - Yay or Nay?

I never got a chance to see the A-Team remake in theaters. I was actually a little surprised how fast it came and went, especially since what vibe I got from people was that it wasn't all that bad. However, going down to the local theater I saw three venues all showing the newest Twilight movie and a bunch of Toy Story showings, so I guess it got pushed out due to all the other, bigger draws. I can't blame the theater folks for this, but I would have liked to have seen this on the big screen.

In many ways, the story of the original A-Team is a perfect example of the Post-Modern Pulps written during this time period. A group of Vietnam special forces veterans who are hunted by the government for a crime they didn't commit, offering their services as vigilante crime fighters to the oppressed while doing their best to not leave a body count, which would of course force the military and law enforcement agencies to go after them with a lot more vigor. In many ways, the A-Team is like a PG-rated Phoenix Force / Able Team, and if it hadn't been a television series, it could have easily been written as it's own "Men's Adventure Fiction" series, albeit most likely with a more R-rated slant in terms of the violence.

The show also tapped into a lot of the darker PMP issues; the plight of the Vietnam vets, juvenile as well as organized crime and drugs, corrupt officials, government coverups...it was absolutely a product of its time, and you could see that in many ways it was "tugging at the chain" to take the stories further than the television networks would have allowed. I get the feeling that, were you to make an A-Team series now on TV, Hannibal and Co. would have more in common with Jack Bauer than their 1980's counterparts.

This is something of a shame because, especially with regards to Mr. T being a cast member, the series made some effort to show young, impressionable kids (like myself) that it was important to stand up to bullies and "bad people", but more importantly, not to sink to their level while doing it. The A-Team took down the bad guys without killing them, stood up for the little guy, and (amazingly) offered some good advice on what it was to be a "good person" in a not-so-nice world.

So, I'm looking for opinions from anyone out there who's seen the remake - what did you think, both compared to the original and on it's own merits? I'll definitely Netflix it when it comes out, but I'd like to see other people's opinions.

4 comments:

schlossblick said...

Since the B-Movie hasn't hit the German cinemas yet, I can't judge the film and the merits it may (not) have, but I meet the great majority of remakes with a hefty dose of doubt. By trend, these rehashs show an unhealthy inclination of emerging as zombified versions of the originals in which they intend to "inject new life", which are "updated for the contemporary audience" or whatever phony phrase is used in order to give the new shiny product a decent boost before it's unleashed unto the masses. Nevertheless, I'll watch this simulacrum, even though I'm pretty sure that I'll be disappointed.

schlossblick said...

Sorry, I wanted to write "A-Team" instead of "the B-Movie". Midnight is too damn late to write in a foreign language.

Badelaire said...

I would agree with you in general here - there was something about the series that tied it so closely to it's post-Vietnam time period that trying to do the same thing in 2010 just doesn't seem to work right. I'm sure it'll be more "kinetic" and just "bigger" overall, but bigger often doesn't mean better...

Anonymous said...

I loved the show, and thought the movie was really pretty good. Had a few exciting action scenes, and also addressed the whole "not killing" aspect in a way that felt natural. It is not the same A-Team we remember, but it is not too different, either. I think the people who made it understood the original and were respectful even though it was, in some ways, updated to fit today's sensibilities and expectations for such a film. It wasn't the heartless, soulless reimagining these kinds of projects so often produce.