This movie is based on the television show of the same name. It opens with the four lead characters coming together. A-Team leader Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith (Liam Neeson) and Lieutenant Templeton Peck ‘Face’ (Bradley Cooper) have been captured by Mexican authorities and are about to be killed. Hannibal manages to escape and runs into BA Baracus (Quintan ‘Rampage’ Jackson). Like Hannibal and Face, BA is a Special Forces soldier. With BA’s help, Hannibal rescues Face, and together they manage to stay just ahead of their Mexican pursuers. They also enlist a crazy Special Forces helicopter pilot, Captain ‘Howlin Mad’ Murdock (Sharlto Copley), who flies them to safety.
Back in the US, a CIA agent called Lynch (Patrick Wilson) approaches the A-Team. He wants them to recover US currency plates stolen by Arabs during the Iraq war. Pyke (Brian Bloom), a US special agent with his own agenda, and Captain Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel), an old girlfriend of Face’s, both warn the A-Team not to attempt the mission. But they go ahead. When all goes badly wrong, the A-Team members are placed on trial for theft and murder, and then imprisoned in four different prisons.
Six months later and with the assistance of CIA agent Lynch, all four members of the A-Team escape. They head to Germany where they hope to set things straight and clear their names.
The military; killing; corruption, false imprisonment
The A-Team contains intense sequences of action violence throughout, but there is minimal blood and gore. For example:
- Hannibal Smith is tied to a chair and a man punches him in the face. The man holds a gun to Hannibal’s head, threatens to shoot him and pulls the trigger. The gun fails to fire. We learn that the gun’s firing-pin has been removed. Following this, two guard dogs are set on Hannibal, who manages to escape.
- Face is encased in car tyres, and a man threatens to burn him alive. A woman who is being physically restrained by men watches on. The man punches Face in the face several times and pours petrol over the tyres. During a rescue attempt by Hannibal and BA, the tyres are set on fire. Face rolls down the side of a hill but is rescued uninjured.
- Hannibal shoots BA in the arm. Later BA is in hospital with a doctor stitching up the bullet wound. There is a close up of BA’s wound, with stitches in the shape of a lightning bolt. During the same scene, Murdock sets Face’s arm on fire, but the flames are quickly smothered.
- A transit van crashes through a fence and runs into a man, throwing him several metres through the air.
- While trying to escape, the A-team are in a helicopter being shot at by machineguns and missiles.
- The A-Team attacks a truck convoy. A truck crashes and flips over, end to end. Another truck flies off the end of a pier and crashes into the water below. BA rides a motorbike underneath a moving truck that explodes. A member of the A-team pulls the driver of a moving truck from his seat and hurls him onto the road.
- A truck with US General Morrison inside explodes in flames, killing the General.
- Attackers fire a rocket into the window of a high-rise building. Then they throw stun grenades through the broken window into a room containing several men. They place a bag over a man’s head, strap a parachute to him, and throw him out the window. As the man falls, his chute opens but is caught up in the skids of a helicopter. The helicopter flies off with the hooded man dangling beneath it.
- BA falls from a building and crashes through a glass roof below. He limps away but is shot in the leg by men with machine guns.
- BA picks up a man, turns him upside down, and drives the man head first into the ground. The man lies dead on the ground with his eyes open.
- Lynch punches Hannibal in the side of the head and shoots a hooded man in the head.
- Hannibal head-butts Lynch and punches him in the face.
The A-Team contains infrequent sexual references and innuendo. For example:
- A man refers to Face having had sex with his wife. Face replies, ‘She’s so hot’.
- An attractive young woman walks into Face’s prison cell and sees her lingerie lying on Face’s bed. She removes the lingerie from the bed and makes a comment about Face leaving it there for other people to see. Face tells the woman he will see her at eight o’clock for a date.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- Hannibal smokes cigars in several scenes, and people smoke cigarettes.
- Men drink cans of beer.
- Two men drink whisky from shot glasses.
- Murdock injects a sleeping drug into the back of BA’S neck. This causes BA to immediately become unconscious.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some low-level sexual activity. For example:
- Face kisses a girl in the back of a van.
- Face kisses a woman he has only just met on the lips. When she slaps his face, he becomes very enthusiastic and kisses the woman again.
- A woman kisses Face passionately on the lips for several seconds.
- Women wear low-cut tops that reveal some cleavage.
There is no product placement of concern in the movie, but associated merchandise is likely to be marketed to children.
There is some coarse language and name-calling in this movie.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The A-Team is an action adventure movie targeting adolescent males, which might also entertain an older male audience. The action scenes and quality of acting are above average for this style of movie. The movie also contains clever humour throughout.
The main messages from this movie are that it’s always worth fighting for truth, justice, your rights and your reputation.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include selflessness, perseverance, friendship and faithfulness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as BA’s internal conflict about hurting other people. He also battles with the idea that some people should be killed for the good of everyone.