(In theatres, June 2010) Having no particular knowledge or affection for the eighties TV series from which this film is adapted, I can only judge it on how well it performs as an action movie. Fortunately, The A-Team delivers all the expected thrills: Writer/director Joe Carnahan finally gets a decent budget, and the if the result frequently mocks plausibility, it’s good enough to make The A-Team a perfectly acceptable action movie. While a few longer shots would have been helpful in keeping the tension high, Carnahan’s visual style here is heavy on anachronistic back-and-forth between planning and an execution that places a lot more emphasis on speed than grace. It benefits from grand-scale CGI stunts: how else to portray a bunch of shipping containers falling down like matchsticks? By the time the characters are flying a tank via its main cannon, I couldn’t have been happier: Action insanity plus echoes of Grand Theft Auto 3! This intensity, combined with an engaging ensemble cast of characters, does a lot to compensate for a script that never quite seems certain when to start: The A-Team delivers two successive origin stories before we get the sense that the film is truly underway, and even then the entire film seems like a pilot episode for its own sequels. But why complain when Liam Neeson is slumming with cigars and cackling grins? Why nit-pick when Bradley Cooper makes for an irresistible con-man? Finally, what about Jessica Biel, back on the big screen as a competent military investigator? I’m always on the market for an over-the-top action comedy if it’s made with intelligence, speed and charm. The A-Team at least gets good grades on speed and charm, and substitutes kinetic cleverness in lieu of intelligence. I’ll take it. After all, I love it when an action movie comes together.