Despite serious misgivings, I was all set on going to see Jonah Hex today. I had read some scathing reviews, but pretty much wanted to see it so I could write a negative review myself. Half the review was already written in my head as I was driving to the theater. I was going to lament the fact that the powers that be in Hollywood obviously don't understand what comic book fans really want, the death of good western movies, and how CGI is becoming seriously overused, blah blah blah. As I was in line to buy my ticket and I found myself staring at this movie poster:
I realized that the main reason I was considering watching this movie is because I've been on a bit of an old west kick recently. We've been watching the Deadwood DVD's and I've been playing Red Dead Redemption (fantastic game), so I think I was hoping for a good western movie. This poster does not represent a western movie. First of all, what kind of weapons is he holding? There's no six shooter in sight. Instead we see some gatling gun thingy, a crossbow flashlight, an orange of doom, and Megan Fox's requisite pea shooter (to prove she's tough). And that's where I got lost, gazing into Megan Fox's vacant stare. I realized that her inclusion in this movie is ultimately representative of what kind of film it would be; all flash and no substance. I know it's unfair to come to such conclusions about a movie before watching it, but I can't help it. I've been burned enough to know a flaming pile of shit when I see one, so I panicked and bought a ticket for The A-Team.
How was I sure The A-Team wasn't going to be a flaming pile of shit? I really wasn't, but I didn't have any expectations for it so I knew I couldn't be as disappointed. I've always liked Jonah Hex as a character, and I had always fantasized that the movie adaptation would be a return to the gritty westerns I grew up on like The Pale Rider and Back to the Future Part 3, but this looks like a CGI heavy cheese-fest made by people who never even read the comics. So I took my chances with The A-Team, cause you know, I'm not completely against CGI cheese-fests.
I think I made the right choice. I actually really enjoyed this movie. Sure, there was a lot of CGI and crazy action scenes, but they were fun. The final scene got a little ridiculous in this respect, but by this point I was pretty sold and forgave it. The thing is, I really liked the main characters, and although most of the action was borderline absurd, they seemed to realize it too, but were having too much fun to care, so why should I?
Liam Neeson was born to play a leader, so I never really doubted his cigar chomping Hannibal Smith. Hell, he could play Papa Smurf and I wouldn't complain *. There was no dressing up in different disguises for this guy, though, he was just the man with the plan. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is no Mr. T, but I must say he's a better actor. He was responsible for some of the funniest moments in the film. Well, his interactions with Sharlto Copley's Murdock that is. Murdock was fricken funny! Sharlto has only been in two movies so far, but he's two for two in my book! He made me laugh out loud several times (When he thought he smelled gas on Face and lit him on fire to see if he was right was awesome). Bradley Cooper as Face was as handsome and cocky as you'd expect. His "chemistry" with Jessica Biel was annoying, and her character was pointless. It's a shame that the only female in the film was the weakest part. It doesn't have to be that way, but it seems to be the case in action films these days. The character was just written poorly. She doesn't really do anything except fall in love with Face. Finally Patrick Wilson was really fun to watch as the CIA agent, Lynch. John Hamm had a all too brief cameo that he was perfect for, of course.
So yeah, I really enjoyed this movie. It was a lot of fun. I never had a lot of love for the original show, so I didn't have expectations. It seems like they stayed pretty faithful to the spirit of the show, while eliminating some of the more corny stuff. I'm giving it an A because, come on, how can I not? Well, closer to an A- I guess, but it really was a fun movie.
* Literally seconds after typing this I learned that there is a Smurf movie coming out soon. Sheesh! Everything eighties is coming back, apparently.