We gave it a B+
STARRING Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley, Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson and Jessica Biel
WRITTEN BY Brian Bloom and Michael Brandt
DIRECTED BY Joe Carnahan
When director Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) decided to tackle a redo of the ’80s TV show about a rogue crew of ex-special operatives, he vowed to limit the nostalgia. He knew he had to include certain touchstones — Hannibal’s cigar, B.A.’s mohawk, the catchphrase ”I love it when a plan comes together” — but one can pay only so much homage in a single $100 million movie. ”I didn’t think this had to be a slavish update of the TV show,” he says, comparing his vision to J.J. Abrams’ clever fun with Star Trek. (The director remains coy about whether Mr. T will make a cameo, though he says T gave his approval after watching footage of former UFC champ Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson as the new B.A.)
This time, the fearless foursome — Jackson plus Bradley Cooper as lady-killer Face, Liam Neeson as silver-maned Hannibal, and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley as tech whiz Murdoch — has escaped from a military prison after being falsely accused of a major crime. Military officials are in hot pursuit, including one of Face’s former flames (Jessica Biel).
If audiences are tired of big-screen remakes, Carnahan isn’t worried. ”I want people to come in there with low expectations so we can just knock them on their ass,” he says. ”There’s an action sequence in the film and if you don’t like it, you don’t like movies.”